The restriction of the Israeli occupation on the Islamic Endowments Department in Jerusalem is escalating on a daily basis, and the work of the Endowments Reconstruction Committee increases to the point of preventing minor maintenance such as replacing broken lighting or treating broken glass and damaged stones, and areas that need isolation to protect them from water leakage, which means placing the Al-Aqsa Mosque in its buildings And its historical monuments under the sword of time and neglect and practically empty the Jordanian role of its content.
The Al-Aqsa Mosque Reconstruction Committee resumed its work yesterday, Wednesday, after all its departments were banned from working for four consecutive days. The last ban is the first of its kind, as the Israeli police obstruct the restoration work in the mosque from time to time, and prevent the employees from performing their duties for hours, but this is the first time that the ban lasts for several days without disclosing the reasons that the police usually invoke, despite All powers of reconstruction and restoration belong to the Jordanian Islamic Endowments Department in Jerusalem.
One of the officials in charge of the Islamic Endowments Department says that the occupation police have been preventing, since days, the entry of basic raw materials such as cement, paint and sand into the mosque, and they have prevented the committee’s employees from performing their work at the same time.
The work of the committee is currently focused – according to the employee who requested anonymity – on restoring the decorations of the Chapel of the Dome of the Rock, restoring the marble internal pillars in the prayer hall itself, in addition to other restoration work in the squares and the Marwani Chapel.
He added to Al-Jazeera Net, “A water pipe exploded more than 10 days ago in front of the door of the council, and it needs to be replaced immediately, and we could not replace it because we were prevented by the police until now.”
Despite being shackled and prevented from practicing their vital work in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the employees of the committee in its four departments (maintenance, construction, electricity and agriculture) are keen to go to the mosque daily, especially since the winter season reveals new places annually that need immediate restoration.
Ziad Abhais, a researcher specializing in Jerusalem affairs, told Al-Jazeera Net, “There are two parallel parallel lines that have formed, for 20 years, the gateway to understanding the Israeli bargain between allowing restoration and re-closing the Bab al-Rahma prayer hall.”
Exploitation of the Al-Aqsa Intifada to obstruct the restoration
The first line, according to Abhais, is the line of usurping the powers of reconstruction from the Islamic endowments of Jordan. This idea was born with the first Netanyahu government in 1996, and its first application was at the end of 2000 after the outbreak of the Al-Aqsa Intifada.
At that time, the occupation forces prevented the removal of the last parts of the rubble resulting from the opening of the giant gates of the Marwani Mosque, which put the Islamic endowments in Jerusalem facing difficult choices, so they were forced to put the fill in the areas planted with olives east of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, as it is considered the least damage until a way is found to remove it. This rubble remained piled up to this day, which constituted the most prominent entrance for settlers and the occupation to target the eastern square of Al-Aqsa.
A second station, which Abhais believes, came within the line of usurping the authorities of reconstruction from the endowments, which is preventing the restoration of the Al-Khathniyyah school wall from the southern side, and the outer wall from the southeastern side to Al-Aqsa, despite the large cracks that were apparent in them, and this restoration took place after political and diplomatic pressure and in light of the uprising Al-Aqsa, the implementation of these restorations lasted 4 years and was subject to continuous obstruction.
As for the third stop, it was in 2011, when the State Comptroller General in Israel submitted a report in which he adopted the claims of the Temple groups regarding the endowment repairs as destroying the “Jewish heritage on the Temple Mount,” and he made a recommendation to submit all endowment restorations to the approval of the occupation municipality in Jerusalem in terms of plans and implementation.
Abhais confirms, “This is what the occupation began to impose in subsequent years, during which the internal restoration work was obstructed in the Dome of the Rock, the Al-Qibli prayer hall, and at the Dome of the Chain, during which the construction engineers and technicians were arrested many times, and the course of things indicates that the request for approval and approval from the occupation municipality has been imposed and has already been completed.” Out of the limelight. “
The fourth and most dangerous station, according to the researcher residing in Jordan, was in January 2019 of usurping the authority to restore the southwestern wall of Al-Aqsa, and the occupation municipality began restoring its outer wall for the first time since its occupation, which are continuous restorations in the hands of the municipality without the endowments being aware of any of them until today. This was followed by the police rape of the authority to restore the “Jumblatti retreat” that it occupies in the Dome of the Rock in May of the same year.
Abhais believes that the second line is an attempt to divide the area from the Bab al-Rahma chapel after it was closed by a court decision in 2003 and isolate the worshipers from its surroundings due to the accumulated backfill, which is the context for which the popular will of Jerusalem and Palestine alerted it, so it worked to restore and rehabilitate the area in stages in the years 2013 and 2018 And 2019, which ended with the occupation urging the seizure of the Gate of Mercy, the response was to reopen it and pray in it with the power of the masses.
He added, “The masses imposed on the occupier unprecedented humiliation when he let them open the prayer hall to avoid confrontation and its price, and he is still unable to this day to swallow this bitterness, and he is afraid that the people will be alerted to the strength and usefulness of the popular will, so he tried to re-close the prayer hall with the tools of abuse, deportation, arrest and beating, but he failed, and he is Today, he is counting on placing the Islamic endowments in an embarrassing situation, so that they might close it by their own hands, and frustrate the will of the masses with the hand of their religious leadership.
Abhais concludes his speech to Al-Jazeera Net by saying that the occupation is proceeding with the policy of emptying the Jordanian role in Al-Aqsa from its content, and in usurping the powers of restoration, but today he is trying to delude the endowments and the Jordanian government that the only node is the Bab al-Rahma prayer hall to push it to close it or change its use, and is trying to employ it in hitting The will of the Almoravid masses, but in fact is continuing to strike it as well, regardless of the Wadi Araba agreement or the Jordanian demands.