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18 Apr, 2015

Israel to Turn Jerusalem Historical School into Synagogue

JERUSALEM, April 7, 2015 (WAFA) – Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage has warned of Israeli bids advised by the so-called Temple Mount groups to officially turn the historical Tankaziya School, located within al-Aqsa Mosque compound, into a Jewish synagogue.

The Israeli authorities turned the school into a synagogue for enlisted soldiers and a military site for the Israel Border Police gendarmerie in 1969.

In an urgent letter sent to the Jerusalem District Police, lawyer Aviad Visoly, head of the Temple Mount Coalition, pushed for allowing temple mount organizations to enter the Tankaziya School, claiming it is a synagogue and a holy site for Jews.

Israeli media said Visoly threatened to sue the Israeli police in case his demand, based on the alleged Protection of Holy Places Law, is not met within 24 hours.

The lawyer reportedly wrote the letter after he was denied access into Muslims’ al-Aqsa Mosque on Sunday and also after an Israeli officer banned him, along with a horde of Jewish settlers, from entering the Tankaziya School.

The lawyer claimed the Tankaziya building is a unique Jewish synagogue as it is the only holy site in the world located within the borders of the “Temple Mount” and the unique destination of a set of Jewish rituals.

Meanwhile, chairman of the al-Aqsa Foundation, Amir al-Khatib, warned of the serious repercussions of such sacrilegious move.

“What should we understand of Israel’s frequent proposals and bids turning part of al-Aqsa Mosque into a Jewish synagogue after it was misappropriated by the Israeli occupation and transformed into a military site and, at times, a synagogue?,” al-Khatib was quoted by the Hamas-affiliated Palestinian Information Center.

Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest place in Islam, has been the center of Arab-Israeli conflict. Jews refer to the site as the “temple mount” and organize provocative visits there almost every day.

The site has witnessed recurrent clashes in recent years between Muslim worshipers and Israeli police, most frequently due to provocative visits by Jewish extremists who believe the mosque should be replaced with a Jewish temple.