JERUSALEM (JTA) – The grand mufti of Jerusalem said in an interview with an Israeli television station that there has never been a Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
There has been a mosque on the site “since the creation of the world,” Sheikh Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, who is in charge of the holy Muslim Al-Aqsa Mosque, said Sunday evening in an interview in Arabic with Israel’s Channel 2.
The mosque was built in the 8th century.
Hussein, who has served as mufti since 2006, has called for suicide bombings against Israelis, the Times of Israel reported Sunday evening.
Muslim sources have corroborated historical sources in recording that two Jewish temples have stood atop the site.
The current wave of Palestinian violence against Israelis has stemmed from assertions by Arab leaders that Israel is changing the status quo on the Temple Mount under which non-Muslim prayer is banned at the site. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly reaffirmed Israel’s commitment to the status quo. Over the weekend Netanyahu announced his approval of posting 24-hour surveillance cameras at the site.