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3 Feb, 2013

Israeli Tourism Ad Seeks to Wipe Muslim Mosque Off the Map


Ramallah, 02 February 2013 (IINA) – An ad produced by the Israeli Foreign Ministry to promote tourism in occupied Jerusalem has shown Haram Al-Sharif or the “Dome of the Rock” being replaced by a Jewish temple.

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, who takes a pivotal role in the ad by explaining all aspects that distinguished Jerusalem to lure more foreigners to visit, was seen standing and speaking in front of the Dome of the Rock to explain history.

While reverting thousands of years back, Haram Al-Sharif was seen digitally transformed into an ancient Jewish temple to emphasize the presence of Judaism before Islam. “The Dome historically was first consecrated by the people of Israel. The great Jewish temple was built here by King Solomon in a place believed by many to be the center of the universe and the gateway connecting heaven to earth,” Ayalon said.

While the Foreign Ministry said that the ad was meant to encourage tourism and enhance Israel’s image worldwide, it opted not to officially release the ad fearing violent reactions from the Palestinians and Muslims. In the initial version of the ad, Haram Al-Sharif was seen demolished and not digitally transformed.

Head of the Supreme Islamic Council in Jerusalem Ikrima Sabri said in a press statement that the ad is only “a part of the Israeli occupation plans to reveal its hostile intentions toward the holy complex.” According to Sabri, “the ad film shows that targeting the complex is no longer limited to the extremist Jewish groups and that it is now vulnerable to many threats.”