Al Hayat Al-Jadida, the official newspaper of the Palestinian Authority reported on Thursday that Arab Members of Israel’s Knesset parliament and activists from the Islamic movement in Israel have “uncovered an Israeli plan that intends to remove a section of Al-Aksa mosque and turn it into a synagogue”

The PA paper quotes Abbas Zakkour from the United List in the Israeli Knesset who said in a press conference held in Ramallah by Arab MKs and representatives of the Islamic movement, that “excavations Israel is conducting on the Mughrabi ascent are nothing but a cover-up for serious digging taking place day and night underneath the mosque,” when, in fact Israel’s excavations are not taking place anywhere near the mosque. Zakkour said that the goal behind Israel’s repair of the Mughrabi ascent is to Temple Mount is to “destroy the Islamic landmarks, endanger the foundations of Al-Aksa mosque and widen the Western Wall plaza where the Jews pray at the expense of the Islamic landmarks”

Sheik Farid Hajj Yahya, the director of Al-Aksa Society inside Israel, stressed that “there is an Israeli conspiracy that aims to take out a section of the mosque to build a Jewish synagogue”. He said, “There are more than 31 hi- tech cameras that the Israeli authorities placed in the vicinity of the excavation site, in addition to allocating 68 million shekels for the development and widening of the Buraq plaza.”

He went on to say that “last year, the Israeli authorities opened a Jewish synagogue under the Sharia court at the Mughrabi ascent and the current digging aims to destroy the court and to add another Jewish synagogue.”

Such incitement is geared to galvanizing Islamic hatred of Israel throughout the Islamic world.


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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.