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out in the Al Aqsa Mosque. Moslems praying in the Mosque and others rushed to the scene to remove some of the valuables in the Mosque and extinguish the fire. The Jordanian fire brigade in Jerusalem was called. Moslem religious leaders as well as Jordanian officials within the Israeli-occupied area came to the scene.

To the outside world news of the fire came in Arabic from Radio Israel at 8.30 a.m., that is, one hour and ten minutes after the fire started. The broadcast carried the news of the arson; it did not give any reason for the fire and did not say whether it was extinguished. Meanwhile, Jordanian fire brigades from Ramallah, and even those from Al Khalil (Hebron) and Nablus, were sent to the scene - and we all know it takes an ordinary car more than one hour to reach Jerusalem from those two cities. With the help of those brigades and the co-operation of the local population, the fire was at last extinguished and contained. According to Reuters, it took the fire brigades over five hours to extinguish the fire; this, to a certain extent, was substantiated by Israeli authorities. As stated at a press conference that same day by Teddy Kollek, the illegally appointed Mayor, and according to Radio Israel, it took them until 10.30 a.m. to extinguish the fire. We think Mr. Tekoah should have exchanged notes with his authorities, with Radio Israel and Mr. Kollek, before coming here to say that it took about one hour. We find it took them until 10.30 to extinguish the fire. Certainly Mr. Tekoah seems to disagree with the Israeli eye-witnesses who admitted that there was delay and tried to find justification for that delay. There was no doubt among the inhabitants and eyewitnesses that the arrival of the Israeli fire-brigades, in short reach of the scene, was delayed and their job was unsatisfactory.

That same afternoon the commander of the fire brigades told the journalists that the pumping of water was working swiftly and in an orderly manner at the beginning but that eight minutes later something happened - the pumping of the water was interrupted and could not work as before. This is something for every member to ponder. The commander of the fire brigades reported that it had not been indicated whether that was due to a technical mishap or to a premeditated act. It must be remembered, however, that after the Israeli occupation the water system in the city was connected to the western part so that the Israelis would be in full control of the water system. This, among other things, elicited sharp criticism and apprehension from Arab Mayor Rouhi El-Khatib and the former President of the Moslem Council, Abdul Hamid Es-Sayeh, both of whom were expelled from Jerusalem to the East Bank of Jordan.

Was Rohan, after all, acting on his own initiative? Was he not brought to Israel and sponsored by the Jewish Agency? Where did he get all the money which he offered to the guards of Al Aqsa on the morning of the fire and which the guards declined to take? According to The Times of London, of 12 September 1969: "On Rohan's way out he offered each 110 pounds sterling but they declined, Mr. Hilwani said." The Sheikh, thinking there must be something wrong, thenentered into the Mosque and rushed out crying: "They have burnt the pulpit." According to the same semi-official Israeli newspaper, The Jerusalem Post of 25 August 1969, Rohan's foster-parents in the kibbutz said: "He never appeared to be short of money to us."(1)

After several meetings by the Security Council to discuss the complaint, it adopted on September 15, 1969, Resolution 271 (1969), which condemned the act of destruction and profanation of the Holy Al Aqsa Mosque. It states:

RESOLUTION 271 (1969) OF 15 SEPTEMBER 1969

The Security Council,

Grieved at the extensive damage caused by arson to the Holy Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on 2 1 August 1969 under the military occupation of Israel,

Mindful of the consequent loss to human culture,

Having heard the statements made before the Council reflecting the universal outrage caused by the act of sacrilege in one of the most venerated shrines of mankind,

Recalling its resolutions 252 (1968) of 21 May 1968 and 267 (1969) of 3 July 1969 and the earlier General Assembly resolutions 2253 (ES-V) and 2254 (ES-V) of 4 and 14 July 1967, respectively, concerning measures and actions by Israel affecting the status of the City of Jerusalem,

Reaffirming the established principle that acquisition of territory by military conquest is inadmissible,

1. Reaffirms its resolution 252 (1 968) and 267 (1 969);

2. Recognizes that any act of destruction or profanation of the Holy Places, religious buildings and sites in Jerusalem or any encouragement of, or connivance at, any such act may seriously endanger international peace and security;

3. Determines that the execrable act of desecration and profanation of the Holy Al Aqsa Mosque emphasizes the immediate necessity of Israel's desisting from acting in violation of the aforesaid resolutions and rescinding forthwith all measures and actions taken by it designed to alter the status of Jerusalem;

4. Calls upon Israel scrupulously to observe the provisions of the Geneva Convention and international law governing military occupation and to refrain from causing any hindrance to the discharge of the established functions of the Supreme Moslem -Council of Jerusalem, including any co-operation that Council may desire from countries with predominantly Moslem population and from Moslem communities in relation to its plan for the maintenance and repair of the Islamic Holy Places in Jerusalem;

5. Condemns the failure of Israel to comply with the aforementioned resolutions and calls upon it to implement forthwith the provisions of these resolutions;

6. Reiterates the determination in paragraph 7 of resolution 267 (1969) that, in the event of a negative response or no response, the Security Council shall convene without delay to consider what further action should be taken in this matter;

7. Requests the Secretary-General to follow closely the implementation of the present resolution and to report thereon to the Security Council at the earliest possible date.

Adopted at the 1512th meeting by 11 votes to none, with 4 abstentions (Colombia, Finland, Paraguay, United States of America.)


On 8 September, 1981, Ambassador Hazem Nuseibeh of Jordan, former Minister for Foreign Affairs, sent a letter to the Secretary General of the United Nations regarding the continued excavations, in which he stated:

Upon instructions from my Government, I wish to bring to your most urgent attention the latest Israeli occupation's deep diggings and excavations beneath the Al-Aqsa Mosque within the Al-Haram Al-Sharef holy sanctuary, the first Qibia in Islam and the third of the three holy sanctuaries. These diggings and desecrations, in deep tunnels reaching 15 metres and more below this 1300-year-old place of worship of God and a symbol of a great spiritual and historical legacy, have been a prime target of the Israeli occupation authorities' relentless and reprehensible efforts since the occupation of Arab Jerusalem in 1967 fundamentally to alter thelandmarks, legacy and history of a large segment of mankind. Hundreds of millions of adherents to the Islamic faith look to Jerusalem and the monumental Al Aqsa sanctuary as its focal point and its centre-piece. The collapse of this holy sanctuary would be nothing less than a cultural, political and spiritual genocide against this legacy and its innermost and immortal soul.

So serious are these Israeli transgressions against hundreds of millions of adherents of the Islamic faith that they pose a real and inevitable threat to world peace and security.

The latest clandestine Israeli desecrations have reached a stage where the Al Aqsa Mosque is presently in danger of total collapse. The religious Islamic institutions in the occupied territories have condemned these most serious underground Israeli excavations and the claims of finds announced on 25 August 1981. The Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Sa'ddudin Al-Alami, has described these dangerous diggings as blatant desecrations of the Al Aqsa Mosque.

The heads of all the Islamic Waqf (charitable) foundations have described these persistent desecrations of the holiest Islamic site as a part of the Zionist effort to seize the holy sanctuary.

The Jordan Mission finds itself duty-bound to alert the community of nations to the fact that adestruction or collapse of the 1350-year-old Al-Aqsa Mosque would not only constitute a crime against humanity and the historic landmarks whose preservation has been entrusted to UNESCO; it would also most certainly bring in its wake a serious threat to world peace and security.

The Government of Jordan reserves the right to submit this aggression before the Security Council unless the Israeli occupation authorities stop forthwith these acts of desecration before irreversible damage is perpetrated.

I request that this letter i d the attached documents be circulated as an official document (SJ14684) of the General Assembly and of the Security Council.

(Signed) Hazem Nuseibeh, Permanent Representative of Jordan to the United Nations."


Communications from Mr. Marwan Kasim, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on Israeli occupation authorities; incessant diggings and desecration beneath and around the holy sanctuary of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock.

Since the Zionist occupation of the Arab lands in 1967, the city of Jerusalem has been subjected to an horrendous Zionist plan designed to Judaize the city and to obliterate its Arab and Islamic quarters. This awesome plan has entered a new phase whereby Israeli occupation authorities have intensified their diggings in the vicinity as well as beneath the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Dome of the Rock and the areas and open spaces contiguous to the holy sanctuary with a view to dismantling and eventually wrecking the holy structures built upon them with the avowed aim of enabling Israel to build what it calls Solomon's Temple on their ruins.

In view of the utmost gravity and seriousness of this Israeli plan and because it poses a fundamental challenge to the entire Arab world and the Islamic World, the Government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan finds itself duty-bound to present the following:


The Israeli attempts to wreck the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy Dome of the Rock have passed through several stages, the most important of which are as follows:

1. On 21 August 1969, the occupation authorities were involved in an attempt to burn down the Al-Aqsa Mosque. That act of arson destroyed the historic Salahuddin pulpit and sizable parts of the Mosque. The fire caused serious cracks in a number of the Mosques' pillars which resulted, in turn, in the collapse of a portion of the ceiling. The Arab inhabitants of Jerusalem confronted this abominable act of arson without assistance from occupation authorities by transporting water buckets by handuntil they succeededin extinguishing the fire.

2. Early in 1980, an attempt was made to blow up the Al-Aqsa Mosque by explosives in a conspiracy plan for execution by Rabbi Meir Kahane. The explosives were discovered minutes before detonation at a distance of 50 metres from the Mosque.

3. Jewish religious fanatics have repeatedly attempted to conduct prayers within spacious areas of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, similar to what they had done within the Ibrahimi holy sanctuary at Hebron. The Jewish extremists, furthermore, attempted on 9 August 198 1 to enter the holy sanctuary in big numbers and on several occasions and from various gates leading to Al-Aqsa holy sanctuary to conduct prayers therein. They broke the Magharbah Gate, the Iron Gate and the ascended to the Tankinazia building in which the occupation authorities are garrisoned and which overlooks the open spaces of the Mosque. But the Moslem worshippers confronted those transgressors and repelled their intrusions.

4. Many Israeli diggings were made in the vicinity, as well as under the foundations of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy Dome of the Rock.


First Phase: Towards the end of 1967 and the beginning of 1968, extensive diggings were carried out on an area of 70 square meters under the southern wall of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Second Phase: In 1969, the diggings exceeded an area of 80 square metres adjacent to the wall of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. These ongoing diggings caused a serious undermining of the foundations of the adjacent building. Subsequently, the entire Magharbah quarter was demolished.

Third Phase: The diggings carried out in 1970 resulted in serious cracks in the foundations of the Ottoman Mosque (Ribat Al-Kurd), and the Jawhiriya School.

Fourth Phase: Israeli diggings between 1972 and 1974 behind the wall of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and extending across the southern wall of the Mosque and under the Mihrab pulpit and beneath the Mosque of Omar.

Fifth Phase: Thediggings in the middle of the eastern side of the wall near the Golden Gate, where those diggings inflicted extensive damage upon an ancient Islamic cemetery near the site.

Sixth Phase: An expansion of the area of the Wailing Wall designed to destroy all the buildings in the area surrounding the Wailing Wall. An Israeli Ministerial Committee endorsed in 1977 the implementation of this plan, which includes the demolition of several Islamic historic buildings, including the Old Islamic Shari's Court, the Tankinazia School, the Khalidiya Library, a charitable Zawiya (corner) and the Abu- Midian ancient Mosque.

Seventh phase:
The most ominous and menacing of these continuous diggings perpetrated by the Israeli occupation authorities started when the occupation authorities declared on 27 August 198 1 that they had discovered a tunnel beneath the Wailing Wall and the holy Dome of the Rock which extends between both, as well as beneath the foundations of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The occupation authorities alleged that this tunnel had been discovered a month before the discovery was announced. But that the announcement had been withheld and kept secret after informing the two Chief Rabbis of Israel as well as the Minister of Religious Affairs and the Defence Minister.

The Israeli officials visited the area and requested that the matter remained shrouded in secrecy. However, the news reached the world media which compelled the Ministry of Education to stop the diggings and to close the tunnel in order to avoid far-reaching Islamic reactions.

However, the diggings did not in fact stop and were resumed when the Israeli Supreme Court issued a decision on 4 September which revoked the decision of the Minister of Education and permitted a resumption and completion of the diggings, which were resumed on 6 September.


The Government and people of Jordan have reacted to news of these Israeli transgressions with anger and consternation. This Jordanian reaction is based upon the following facts:

1. The tunnel which the occupation authorities claimed to have discovered is a purely Islamic legacy, as proved by reports of archaeologists for over 100 years, and is located on the map which was prepared by Colonel Warren towards the end of the nineteenth century around 1880. It is part and parcel of the canals which were constructed during the past 1400 years. The tunnel which the Israelis claimed to have discovered had been closed for decades. The mere tampering and opening of this tunnel should be viewed as an aggression against the Islamic holy places and a danger to the expansive spaces and the structures of the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock built upon them. It should be stressed that the latest Israeli diggings have resulted in serious cracks in the middle of the western wing of the Mosque.

2. The continuance of Israeli diggings beneath, as well as adjacent to the Al Aqsa Mosque is a flagrant violation of Security Council as well as General Assembly resolutions which have called upon Israel to refrain from pursuing these acts of desecration. By continuing these acts of diggings, Israel is not only violating international law, but is also assailing fundamental religious beliefs, principles and ethical values. Israel's dastardly acts will have far-reaching Islamic dimension and are a crime against civilization.

3. Jordan firmly believes that the Israeli conspiracy to destroy the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock is still continuing, notwithstanding the varying statements of Israeli officials concerning the existing excavations. The incontrovertible truth is that all those Israeli leaders are in agreement on the Judaization of the Holy City, the destruction of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the exploitation of blind religious bigotry to serve the Israeli political objectives and to impose a new fait accompli.


His Excellency the Ambassador
of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
to the United Nations
New York


1. Newspapers, broadcasts and reports from Jerusalem indicated that the Israeli excavations around the holy Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock were continuing and that they threaten to cause cracks and bring down both temples.

2. The Jerusalem Post, in its 4406th edition of 22 August 1981, reported that archaeological teams belonging to the Israeli military occupation authorities were carrying out excavations under the southern walls of the sacred shrine, allegedly aimed at discovering the tombs of the kings of Israel; a picture is enclosed.

3. The Israeli military occupation radio reported on the morning of Thursday, 27 August 1981, that the two Chief Rabbis in occupied Palestine had visited a tunnel discovered recently under the Wailing Wall - i.e., the Holy Bozak - leading to a sensitive area - i.e., the Sacred Shrine. The next morning, on 28 August, the enemy radio announced that the Islamic Organization at Jerusalem had asked the occupation authorities to allow its engineers to explore the site of the tunnel, and to undertake the necessary measures in the light of their discovery. The broadcast further said that the tunnel was no more than an old well and that it had been discovered well over a month earlier.

4. The Jerusalem Post reported in its edition of 28 August details of the tunnel excavations carried out a month earlier by a task force belonging to the Israeli Ministry of Religions. The report added that the excavations had begun a century ago, and that a room had been built there for a synagogue. The report further said that the excavations extended for some distance under the Sacred Shrine, and that they were meant to reach the Dome of the Rock. In view of the importance of this report, I enclose a photograph thereof.

5. The construction engineer of the Holy Al-Aqsa Mosque, Essam Awaad, released a later report concerning the digging of the tunnel. The report revealed that the excavations started down below the western wall of the sacred shrine in the place known as Matthara, between Selselah and Kattanin gates, and extended 25 metres east at a depth of 6 metres, reaching aplace in front of Kaitbai fountain facing the westem part of the Dome of the Rock. I enclose herewith a copy of this report.

6. These excavations, it has been noted, surround the sacred shrine and the Al Aqsa Mosque from the south and the Dome of the Rock from the west. These excavations are an extension of their counterparts and of the incessant encroachment on Islamic cultural buildings adjacent to the western and southern walls of the sacred shrine, as well as the Holy Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, as shown by the enclosed map.

7. Regardless of the dispute between the religious communities and the Israeli military governors on the site of the first excavations, and their allegations that they are the burial places of the ancient kings of Israel, and regardless of their claim that the tunnel they had discovered in the second place was no more than an old well, the Israeli excavations in the said area constitute a flagrant violation of the sanctity of the holy Islamic sites, and persistently threaten to bring them down, thus paving the way for their demolition and the setting up of a shrine for Judaism in their stead and in the courtyards of the sacred shrine thereof.

8. These excavations constitute a challenge to the Arab and Islamic worlds, and constitute constant violations of The Hague and Geneva Conventions as well as the resolutions of UNESCO, the Security Council and the entire United Nations, and hence deserve attention and action on all levels.
(Signed) Ruhi Al-Khatib, Mayor of Jerusalem.


Reconstruction Committee of the Blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Holy Dome of the Rock Office of the Resident Engineer Jerusalem



Since the Israeli occupation of Jerusalem in 1967 the religious authority has started the digging of a tunnel parallel to the western wall of the Holy Mosque in an effort to uncover the lower foundations of the wall, as part of a broader scheme aimed at discovering the relics of the Temple. This led, at the time, to serious cracks in the historic Islamic buildings adjacent to the western wall of the Holy Mosque, namely the Ottoman School, the Jawhariya School and the Ribat Al- Kurd.

In spite of the opposition and the protests of local and international bodies, tunnel-digging operations continued. The latest information available to the office of its resident engineer indicates that the tunnel currently stretches between the courtyard outside the Bozak wall and a point below the Wagf Department and the gate of the Council.

Location of new tunnel

The tunnel, which the rabbi of the Wailing Wall claims has been discovered recently, lies beneath the area south of the Matthari and stretches to the east just below the Kaitbai fountain. It is six metres wide and 25 metres long. The fact is untrue that the tunnel has been discovered recently. It exists actually in the map of the area drawn up by Colonel Warren late in the nineteenth century, around the year 1880. It is also untrue that the stones were removed and the tunnel discovered in the attempt to investigate the cause of water leakage. In fact the tunnel-digging, which takes a southern-northern direction parallel to the western wall, has led to the discovery of a closed Islamic door shaped as a vault in the same western wall of the "Temple Mount," at the level of the tunnel.

It may be true that the decision to open the door and gain access to the area under the "Temple Mount" was taken a month earlier.

This tunnel was closed in earlier times and turned into a well. There are three screws atop the well, one of which was closed 20 years ago; the second is the one on which the Kaitbai well was erected, and the third lies in the courtyard in front of the fountain.

On the morning of Saturday, 29 August 1981, the screw located in front of the fountain was unsealed, and wooden planks were discovered while the opening were blocked with reinforced concrete.

(Signed), Essam Awaad, Resident Engineer.


The United Nations Security Council was convened in April, 1981, to discuss the new attack and desecration by Zionists of the Holy Al Aqsa Mosque. Dr. Hazem Nuseibeh, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Jordan, described the said attack in his statement to the Council in its meeting of April 13, 1982 (S/pv.2352) as follows:

On Sunday, 11 April, at 9.20 a.m., a gang of armed Israeli troops directed heavy fire from various directions at the Al Aqsa Mosque, the first Kiblah in Islam and the third holiest shrine, and the magnificent Dome of the Rock from which the prophet Muhammed - upon whom be peace - made his nocturnal and spiritual ascension to heaven. This great monument had been painstakingly constructed by artisans to the glory of God over many, many centuries, 14 in all.

That Israeli carnage was carried out to give cover to an Israeli soldier - or is he an American? He is in fact both - by the name of Alan Harry Goodman, who was on a murderous journey of death and desecration. He killed in cold blood a 65-year old unarmed Arab guard at the Magharba - Moroccan Gate - evidently unchallenged by the armed Israeli trooper who sits there. He murdered in cold blood two other unarmed guardians and seriously wounded a third at the entrance to the Dome of the Rock Mosque; and, having forced his entry into the Dome of the Rock, opened up his fire-arms at the worshippers in every direction, for a duration of half an hour. Eyewitnesses at the scene reported that he had a large stock of ammunition on his shoulders, to murder the maximum number of devout worshippers and civilians in the vicinity. Having murdered nine and wounded 40 others in the Mosque, this Israeli-American criminal directed his fire at the Al-Manbar - pulpit - the chandeliers, the mosaic, the marble and the carpets, some of which caught fire. The casualties in that premeditated and well-planned assault totalled at least 100 inside and outside the holy Mosque.

Fearful that the highly provoked victims would capture that gutter terrorist, his accomplices - the Israeli so-called anti-riot troops - imposed a total curfew on that historic and ancient City, demolished a part of one of the walls of the holy sanctuary, stormed the Dome of the Rock and ensured the safety of the criminal by firing at the crowd, and then whisked him away to safety in a closed military van.

The Israeli racist, exclusive and bloodthirsty ends and objectives are the following:

The first is to complete the incarceration, strangulation and expulsion of the lawful Palestinian owners of Palestine.

Secondly, there is a determination by aracist Zionist entity and ideology to tolerate no faith or existence other than its own implanted one. They are determined to destroy every Islamic vestige or legacy in the Holy Land, the eternal symbol of which is the holy sanctuary comprising Al Aqsa Mosque and the noble Dome of the Rock. On their list of targets, of course, are Christian holy sites which they have frequently vandalized during the occupation.

The Islamic Council in Jerusalem, which has called a seven-day general strike throughout the occupied territories, denounced a statement issued Sunday by the office of Prime Minister Menachem Begin which described the Israeli soldier as mentally ill. The criminal, Alan Harry Goodman, formerly of Baltimore, was inducted into the army last month for the brief service customary for immigrants. Of course, he has dual nationality.

The Higher Islamic Council said it was absurd of the Prime Minister's office to describe the assailant as deranged, because soldiers were supposed to undergo physical examinations. Moreover, the Higher Islamic Council added, the assailant was not alone. It asserted that he had been covered during his attack by fire from many directions. How else could he have continued his shooting spree within the Dome of the Rock for half an hour until he had expended all his bullets?

The Zionist designs against the Islamic Holy Sanctuary are long and infamous. A chronological survey of these activities includes the following:

First, continuous and sustained deep digging under the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Holy Sanctuary as a whole- structures which are 14 centuries old - began immediately after the Zionist occupation of the Holy City, in addition to the demolition of hundreds of buildings in the area adjacent to it. These deep diggings have reached such depths that entire structures are threatened with collapse. The diggings are still continuing.

Secondly, on 21 August 1969 the Zionists carried out a plot of arson to set the entire Al Aqsa Mosque on fire. The fire resulted in the total destruction of an 800-year-old magnificent Salahaddin pulpit, hand-made over seven years by highly-skilled artisans in Aleppo, and other sizable sections of the Mosque. The arsonist, Michael Rohan, a Zionist Australian, was declared deranged - not unlike the person in question today - and sent to Australia.

Thirdly, on 9 May 1980, 120 kilos of high explosives, scores of bombs, wires and other explosive contraptions were accidentally discovered a mere few minutes away from the time of detonation on the roof of a Jewish school in the Old City, 150 yards away from the target. The Gush Emunim terrorist movement was behind the plan, which aimed at blowing up the Al Aqsa Mosque and other historical buildings. The day was a Friday and tens of thousands of worshippers might have been killed or maimed if that arsenal of explosives had not been accidentally discovered two minutes before the explosion.

Fourthly, repeated attempts have been made by Israeli groups to force their way into the mosques of the holy sanctuary, leading to numerous clashes.

Fifthly, last year the Israeli Gush Emunim started digging a tunnel leading to the Dome of the Rock. The attempt was discovered and foiled by the civilian inhabitants.

Sixthly, last Thursday, 7 April 1982 - that is, three days before the Easter Sunday Massacre - explosive charges placed by the same Zionist terrorist gangs were discovered at the entrance to the Al Aqsa mosque and dismantled. Beside the charges were pamphlets threatening to blow up the Al Aqsa Mosque and physically liquidate the religious dignitaries. The threats were written in broken Arabic and issued from the Kiryat Arba illegal settlement overlooking the City of Al-Khalil (Hebron).

"More revealing about the character and orientation of the culprits are a few sentences which appeared in an article dated 1 1 April 1982 from Jerusalem, reporting on the events, an article by New York Times correspondent David Shipler. He said, referring to the Israeli troops, that

"Just before going, one of them, with a laugh, threw a tear gas grenade near the (Al Aqsa) Mosque, upwind of the main door. Smoke from the perfectly placed canister blew into the mosque, and worshippers came out coughing and wiping their eyes. One elderly man was carried to an ambulance. A few of the troops walked away laughing." (The New York Times, 12 April 1982, p. 12).

If the spot is as sacred to those troops as they claim it is, it is truly incongruous that the soldiers would have behaved with that bellicose and nauseating meanness which truly reveals what lies deep in their sick hearts. It is not a lone deranged soldier: it is a deranged society, the more dangerous as it is being armed to the teeth by its strategic ally and mainstay, the United States.

But as in all encounters throughout history, the Spirit is always more formidable than the machine, for the machine is but an invention of the spirit and of man. The attempt to deprive 1 billion Moslems, close to a quarter of humanity, of one of their most cherished spiritual anchors will not remain unanswered.


On January 9, 1986, Mr. Abdullah Salah, Ambassador of Jordan and former Minister of Foreign Affairs, sent a letter to the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council (A/41/82,8/17727) reporting new desecrations of the Al Aqsa Mosque. He stated:

On instructions from my Government, I have the honor to bring to your attention the blatant desecration of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the occupied Arab city of Al-Quds committed by some 20 members of the Israeli Knesset on 8 January 1986 while the faithful were engaged in the midday prayer. The members of the Knesset, who belong to the Internal Affairs Committee of the Israeli Parliament, entered the place of prayer there for adherents of the Jewish religion. Immediately upon entering the mosque, the Israeli parliamentarians encountered members of the faithful, who drove them out. The intruders then called the Israeli police. Before long a large number of police officers, led by the commander of the Southern Unit and the Al-Quds Chief of Police, arrived on the scene, entering the mosque with great show, provoking and outraging the faithful and offending the sentiments of the believers by flouting the inviolability of that holy place of Islam. In addition, the Israeli police attacked Muslims who were present and the civilian guards of the mosque, who were shocked by this humiliating treatment. It should be pointed out that this is not the first time that the Al-Aqsa Mosque has been the target of desecration and violation by Israeli extremists. This despicable attack and irresponsible behaviour on the part of members of the Israeli legislature has aroused the indignation, repulsion and anger of the inhabitants of Al-Quds, the West Bank and the entire Muslim world. Sheikh Saad Eddine El-Ilmi, President of the Higher Islamic Council, has sent a telegram of protest to the Israeli leaders demanding the withdrawal of their occupation troops which have, since yesterday, been blocking the entrance to the mosque.

This act of aggression committed by members of the Israeli Knesset, including Julia Cohen, who has openly advocated the expulsion of Arabs from Al-Quds and the West Bank, constitutes a violation and a desecration of the holy places of Islam and a challenge to hundreds of millions of Moslems, for whom the Al-Aqsa Mosque is the place towards which all the faithful turn at the beginning of their prayers and the third most holy place of Islam. This act of aggression is part and parcel of an Israeli plan directed against Muslim and Christian sacred monuments in Al-Quds and the occupied Arab territories.

Jordan, which condemns and strongly denounces such acts, is deeply concerned at their consequences, which can only be detrimental to the cause of peace and stability in the region. Moreover, such an act runs counter to the international rules and principles governing foreign occupation, which forbid an occupying State to interfere with the private and public life of the civilian inhabitants living under its occupation and prohibit infringements of the freedom of worship and the violation of holy places.

I should be grateful if you would arrange for the text of this letter to be circulated as a document of the General Assembly, under the items entitled "The Situation in the Middle East" and "Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories," and of the Security Council.

(Signed) Abdullah Salah, Ambassador, Permanent Representative.

The Delegations of Muslim States in the United States submitted a complaint to the United Nations Security Council about these Israeli desecrations of Muslim Holy Places. While the Security Council was discussing this complaint, Zionist fanatic groups again committed acts of desecration of Al Aqsa Mosque. The representative of Jordan sent a letter to the Security Council on the 20th of January, 1986 reporting these new desecrations (Document Sf 17749). He stated:

Further to my letter of 9 January, 1986, and on instructions from my Government, I have the honour to inform you of the following:

Yesterday morning, Sunday, 19th January 1986, as part of the series of incessant acts of aggression directed against the Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem by fanatical Jewish groups encouraged and sponsored by the Israeli authorities, a group of the Kach terrorist gang, which is led by Rabbi Meir Kahane, intruded into the Haram al-Sharif. This group, which included a number of Rabbis, held a provocative, racist demonstration from which were emitted shouts threatening the Arabs with death or expulsion and with seizure of the holy Al Aqsa Mosque. Given this situation, Arab citizens resisted the intruders and prevented them from achieving their goal, while members of the gang gathered at the Bab al-Magharibah under the protection of occupation troops, who, in turn, arrested a number of Arab citizens in the Holy City.

This attempt was preceded by yet another Israeli attempt to desecrate the holy Ibrahimi Mosque in the city of Hebron on Friday, 17 January 1986, when a group of Israeli settlers invaded the mosque during the Friday sermon and prayer service. This prompted the Muslim worshippers to resist those settlers and to prevent them from desecrating the holy mosque. Clashes tookplace between Muslim worshippers, on the one hand, and Israeli settlers and occupation forces on the other.

The latest attempt to desecrate the Haram al-Sharif, coming after repeated attempts since 1968 to enter the Al Aqsa Mosque and hold prayers there, the blatant statements made by Israeli leaders (including statements by the Prime Minister of Israel in which he has said that all of Palestine is Israeli territory, including the Hararn al-Sharif), as well as the intrusion of the Internal Affairs Committee of the Israeli Knesset into the Haram al-Sharif and the attempt made by Sharon on the following day to enter the precinct of the sanctuary, all confirm Israeli ambitions with respect to the Islamic Holy Places.

I request you to have this letter circulated as an official document of the General Assembly, under the items entitled "The Situation in the Middle East" and "Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories", and of the Security Council."

(Signed) Farouk A. Kasrawi, Charge d'affaires a.i.

On January 21,1986 the Acting Representative of Jordan, Mr. Farouk Kasrawi, made a statement in the Security Council (Meeting S/PV2644) in which he summed up these Israeli acts of aggression against Muslim holy places as follows:

On Wednesday, 8 January 1986, a number of members of the Israeli Knesset, accompanied by a group of Israeli extremists, entered Al-Haram Al-Sharif with the aim of paving the way for the imposition of Israeli control over it and the establishment there of a place for prayer for adherents of the Jewish religion. Al-Haram Al-Sharif is the First Kiblah and the third holiest shrine, one of the most sacred places of worship of Islam. That provocative attempt aroused the wrath of the Moslem worshippers, who prevented the Israeli group from pursuing its attempt.

The very composition of the Israeli group was grounds for suspicion and mistrust on the part of the Moslems. Among the participants were Gershon Solomon and a number of his followers. He heads an extremist Jewish religious movement that systematically attempts to violate the sanctity of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock and calls for the performance of Jewish prayers and religious rites therein. Moreover, Geula Cohen, the Israeli Knesset member, participated in that action. She is notorious for her hostility towards the Arabs and her resistance to prospects of peace with them. Another participant was Yuval Neeman, known for his great enthusiasm about the settlement of occupied Arab territories and their annexation to Israel. The premeditated nature of that provocation is evident because there was another such action on 14 January, when 16 members of the Knesset violated the sanctity of Al-Haram Al- Sharif and some of them immediately started praying therein, disregarding Moslem worshippers, who tried to stop them from pursuing their attempt. This led to the entry of about 600 Israeli policemen into the courtyard of Al-Haram, where they arrested about 19 Moslem worshippers.

The objective of the Israeli group was evidenced by their actions and statements which were cited by press agencies. The following is but a partial list:

First, the extremist members of the Knesset who violated the sanctity of the Mosque on 14 January called for "termination of Moslem control" over the Al-Haram area; secondly, Shelanski, a member of the Israeli Knesset, who led the attempt to storm Al-Haram, said, "Israel must put an end to the autonomous Moslem administration of the Al-Haram area"; thirdly, some members of the Israeli Knesset attempted to pray in the courtyard of the Al-Haram Al-Sharif Mosque immediately upon entering, on 14 January, thus contravening the existing situation and the arrangements relevant to the status of the Holy Places and worship therein.

That provocative action was repeated on Sunday, 19 January, when an Israeli group belonging to the "Kach" terrorist gang led by Meir Kahane attempted to storm Al- Haram Al-Sharif Mosque. That group, which included a number of rabbis, organized a provocative and racist demonstration in which they threatened to expel or murder Arabs and to take over the holy Al Aqsa Mosque.

There was another attempt to desecrate the Ibrahim sanctuary in Al-Khalil on Friday, 17 January, when a group of Israeli settlers stormed the mosque during the sermon at the Friday noon prayer service. That led to clashes and confrontation between the Moslem worshippers, on the one hand, and the Israeli settlers and forces of occupation, on the other.

The Al-Haram Al-Sharif Mosque has been the target of numerous acts of aggression, violation and desecration under Israeli occupation. In order fully to appreciate what is happening, let us look at the record.

First, the attempt on 21 August 1969 by one Michael Rohan to burn down the Al-Aqsa Mosque, leading to the destruction of the Saladdin pulpit, a rare Islamic artifact and to devastation of other parts of the holy Mosque. On that occasion the Security Council adopted resolution 27 1 (1 969) of 15 September 1969, which emphasized that any act of desecration or profanation of the Holy Places, religious buildings and sites in Jerusalem or any encouragement of, or connivance at, any such act might seriously endanger international peace and security.

Second, the Israeli excavations, which started at the end of 1967 around and beneath the Al-Aqsa Mosque to the west and south and which jeopardized the structural integrity of the Mosque.

Third, the act of aggression committed against the Mosque and Moslem worshippers on 11 April, 1982 when an Israeli soldier, Alan Goodman, fired indiscriminately into worshippers in the Mosque, taking the lives of worshippers, one of them a 60-year-old man, and wounding a number of others.

Fifth, a number of attempts made by Israeli settlers and extremists to storm the Mosque. This inevitably led to clashes with the Moslem worshippers praying inside.

The recent attempts to defile the sanctity of the Al-Hararn Al-Sharif Mosque, which this time was implemented publicly and provocatively by a number of members of the Israeli Knesset, cannot be viewed in isolation from the aforementioned acts of aggression. Nor can these acts be justified by any of the pretexts cited - ascribing them to mentally unbalanced individuals, or categorizing them as spontaneous acts or mere routine occurrences. Rather, their repetition shows that under Israeli occupation the Al-Haram Al-Sharif Mosque has become the target of violation and desecration. This runs counter to the principle of religious tolerance and jeopardizes the very norms and foundations which have allowed the integrity of the Holy Places to be preserved for centuries.

These actions also contravene the norms and principles of international conduct relevant to alien occupation which prohibit the occupying Power from carrying out any interference in the normal and public life of the civilian population under occupation or committing acts of aggression against or interfering with freedom of worship in the Holy Places. Hence the Israeli occupation authorities have assumed full responsibility for what is happening.

On the 30th day of January, 1986 the Security Council voted on Resolution Number S/17769/Rev.l in which it condemned these acts of aggression. The Resolution states:

The Security Council,

Taking note
of the letter (S/17740) from the Permanent Representative of Morocco to the United Nations, current Chairman of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, and the letter (S/l7741) from the Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations, current Chairman of the Arab Group, both addressed on 16 January 1986 to the President of the Security Council,

Reaffirming that the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, is applicable to the Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem,

Bearing in mind the specific status of Jerusalem and, in particular, the need to protec t and preserve the unique spiritual and religious dimensions of the Holy Places in the City,

Recalling and reaffirming its resolutions relevant to the status and character of the Holy City of Jerusalem, in particular resolutions 252 (1968) of 21 May 1968,267 (1969) of 3 July and 27 1 (1969) of 15 September 1969,298 (1 97 1) of 25 September 1971, the consensus statement made by the President of the Security Council on 11 November, 1976, resolutions 465 (1980) of 30 June 1980 and 478 (1980) of 20 August 1980,

Strongly deploring the continued refusal of Israel, the occupying Power, to comply with the relevant resolutions of the Security Council,

Deeply concerned at the provocative acts by Israelis, including members of the Knesset, which have violated the sanctity of the sanctuary of the Haram Al-Sharif in Jerusalem,

1. Strongly deplores the provocative acts which have violated the sanctity of the sanctuary of the Haram Al-Sharif in Jerusalem;

2. Affirms that such acts constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, the failure of which could also endanger international peace and security;

3. Determines once more that all measures taken by Israel to change the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure or status of the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, or any part thereof, have no legal validity and that the policy and practices of Israel of settling parts of its population and new immigrants in those territories constitute a flagrant violation of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and also constitute aseriousobstruction to achieving acomprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East;

4. Reiterates that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, which have altered or purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem and in particular the "basic law" on Jerusalem are null and void and must be rescinded forthwith;

5. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to observe scrupulously the norms of international law governing military occupation, in particular the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and to prevent any hindrance to the discharge of the established functions of the Supreme Islamic Council in Jerusalem, including any co-operation that the Council may desire from countries with predominantly Muslim populations and from Muslim communities in relation to its plans for the maintenance and repair of the Islamic Holy Places;

6. Urgently calls on Israel, the occupying Power, to implement forthwith the provisions of this resolution and the relevant Security Council resolutions;

7. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Security- Council on the implementation of the present resolution before 1 May 1986.

This Resolution was supported by 14 Members of the Security Council, but was vetoed by the United States of America and therefore was not adopted.


On June 24, 1986, Mr. Abdullah Salah, Ambassador of Jordan and former Minister for Foreign Affairs, sent a letter to the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council (Z/41/426,S/18177) reporting violations and acts of aggression against Muslim religious places in the Hebron area. He stated:

I have the honour to transmit herewith information concerning the attacks and violations committed by the Israeli occupation authorities against the area of Tel Al-Ramida and its mosque in the occupied town of Al-Khalil, which acts are part of a series of operations directed against holy places in the occupied Arab territories in violation of the rules of international law governing foreign occupation and in disregard of human rights, freedom of religion and the principle of the inviolability of places of worship.

It hardly needs emphasizing what damage these perfidious violations do to the general situation in the occupied Arab territories and the peace efforts which the international community and the forces of good have unceasingly made to bring about a just, comprehensive and lasting settlement of the Middle East problem and to put an end to the Israeli occupation and the daily sufferings which it causes to the inhabitants of the occupied territories.

I should be grateful if you would arrange for the text of this letter and its annex to be circulated as an official document of the General Assembly, under items 37 and 73 of the preliminary list, and of the Security Council.

(Signed) Abdullah Salah, Ambassador, Permanent Representative


Report on the violations and acts of aggression committed by the occupation authorities against the Al-Arbain mosque in the Tel Al-Ramida area in Al-Khalil

The Muslim authorities possess, under an endowment (waqf), a plot of land situated in the Tel Al-Ramida area in Al-Khalil, some 100 metres from the Jewish cemetery of the settlement established in the area; the rights of the Muslem authorities to this plot of land are guaranteed by a deed issued by the Land Registry Office of Al-Khalil (file No. 1581811935, p.26). The plot measures 741 square meters and is situated at Magam Al-Arbain. The plot contains a sacred archaeological monument and an ancient mosque.

The occupation authorities and the settlers have treated this mosque in the same way that they have treated the sanctuary of Abraham:

1. On 21 December 1976, a group of Jews constructed a pathway on the plot leading to the above-mentioned structure;

2. On 21 December 1976, a group of Jews carried out an archaeological dig near the mihrab of the mosque;

3. On 12 January 1977, the Military Governor forbade workers from making repairs to the mosque;

4. On 1 1 May 1977, workers attempting to make repairs to the Magam Al-Arbain mosque were prevented from doing so by an Israeli officer;

5. On 12 May 1977, when the above-mentioned workers were attempting to make the repairs, the adviser of the Military Governor of Al-Khalil summoned the Keeper of the Waqf and asked him to stop the repair work; however, the latter demanded a written order or a judgement from a competent court. In addition, he requested an interview with the Military Governor of Al-Khalil in order to discuss the matter with him. However, the Military Governor refused to see him and suggested that he should meet with the military officer responsible for the area. When the latter was contacted, he did nothing to correct the situation;

6. On 17 May 1977, a group of Jewish settlers accompanied by one Rabbi Yousseb Roufail arrived at the site and ... Go to part 3


Go to part 3


Encyclopedia of the Palestine Problem
By Issa Nakhleh

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