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Encyclopedia of the Palestine Problem



The Zionists planned to create a Jewish State in Palestine that would be 100% Jewish. Christianity and Islam were to be stamped out and Christians and Muslims were to be excluded. The Zionist plan calls for the expulsion of all non-Jews from Palestine and the destruction of Muslim and Christian Holy Places and sanctuaries.

In 1948 the Zionists succeeded in realizing their first objective by creating a Jewish State in 80% of the territory of Palestine. By force and massacres they expelled from the area they occupied over 800,000 Palestinians, of whom 700,000 were Muslims and 100,000 Christians. They completely destroyed over 492 Arab villages by bulldozing all of the houses and other buildings in the villages, in order to erase the Arab character of the land. According to the records of the Islamic Higher Council in Jerusalem, Zionist forces completely destroyed and erased 480 Muslim Mosques and converted 14 Muslim Mosques to secular control as factories, clubs or for other nonreligious purposes. They completely destroyed 410 Muslim cemeteries, bulldozing all the stones and remains. The Hilton Hotel in Tel Aviv was built on the Abed Al-Nabl Muslim cemetery.

The Zionists occupied all Muslim religious properties (Waqf property) in the twelve cities they occupied and in many villages as well, usurping buildings, lands, shops, and other assets of these religious charitable institutions.


During the June 1967 war, the Israelis bombarded the Holy City of Jerusalem. The central gate of Al Aqsa mosque was shattered. One of the Al Aqsa minarets received a direct hit and its dome was damaged. After the occupation of Jerusalem in 1967, Israelis held demonstrations, dancing festivals and immoral parties in the sacred area of Haram Al-Sherif. The gates of the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque were opened for Jewish tourists of both sexes with their dogs. Men and women entered these holy places dressed in shorts and committed acts of indecency, disrespect and desecration. Israel dynamited 135 buildings and Mosques owned by Muslim Waqfs in old Jerusalem in order to clear the way for a square in front of Al Buraq, the Western Wall of Al Aqsa Mosque.

On August 26, 1967, fourteen Muslim and Christian leaders of Jerusalem submitted a memorandum to the personal representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations in which they described the desecration by Israelis of Muslim and Christian Holy Places. Paragraph 7 of that memorandum states:

The Israeli authorities did not respect the sanctity of Muslim and Christian religious shrines and thus forced the custodian of the Holy Places to close some of the churches. Moreover, the Chief Rabbi of the Israeli army, Brigadier Goren, conducted a prayer, together with some followers, in the Haram Al-Sherif (Holy Mosque), thus blatantly offending Muslim susceptibilities and infringing upon their established rights, while the Minister for Religions in Israel announced that the Muslim Mosque is Jewish property, and that sooner or later they will rebuild their temple there. Finally, the Ministry of Religious Affairs announced its intention of expanding the Wailing Wall area by destroying some of the Muslim buildings surrounding it, and constructing a synagogue there, in contravention of the status quo, and in an outright violation of the rights of Muslims and Muslim Waqf.


Reports concerning the following criminal acts by the Israelis were taken from the records of the Islamic Higher Council in Jerusalem:

March 2, 1982
Armed Jewish settlers and students from Kiryat Arba raided the Al Aqsa Mosque from the Silsilah gate, after assaulting the guards. One guard was injured.

March 30, 1982
Jewish extremists called the Temple Mount Faithful group, accompanied by two Knesset members, Geula Cohen and Ben Porat, entered the Al Aqsa Mosque yard in a provocative manner.

April 3, 1982
A group of extremist Jews tried to raid the Al Aqsa Mosque from the Dung Gate, but were prevented by Waqf guards. One of the guards was shot.

April 8, 1982
The Temple Mount Faithful group of Jewish extremists placed a fake bomb and a threatening letter in front of the Aqsa Mosque door. The bomb consisted of a transistor radio and a timing device. The guard of the mosque found and dismantled it.

April 11, 1982
An Israeli soldier, American-born Allan Goodman, entered the Dome of the RockMosque and started firing shots randomly. One person was killed and dozens were injured.

May 12, 1982
A sergeant from the Jerusalem municipal police trespassed on Al Aqsa Mosque land. He claimed he was trying to verify allegations made by Geula Cohen that there were illegal buildings in the Mosque area.

May 22, 1982
Extremist Jews entered the Haram Al Sharif area, distributing leaflets and inciting Jews to go to pray in the Al Aqsa Mosque area.

June 4, 1982
Extremist Jews sent a letter to the Islamic Council threatening the demolition of Al Aqsa Mosque.

July 7, 1982
The Temple Mount Faithful Jewish extremist group entered the Mosque yard to hold a demonstration in support of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon.

July 28, 1982
Armed Jewish yeshiva students seized three apartments near the Al Aqsa Mosque, and left only after they were ordered to evacuate by the police.

March 5, 1983
An explosive charge was found on the road leading to the Al Aqsa Mosque, near the entrance of Bab Al Majles.

January 14, 1984
Israeli tourist guides handed out false maps to tourists showing two Jewish altars in place of the two mosques on Haram Al Sharif.

January 27, 1984
At night a group of extremist Jews entered the mosque with explosives, intending to blow up Al Aqsa Mosque.

March 24, 1984
An extremist Jewish group publicly declared its intention to perform the Passover prayers and animal sacrifice in the Al Aqsa Mosque.

March 29, 1984
The Israeli Archaeological Department of the Ministry of Religion constructed a tunnel, one meter in length, two meters wide and ten meters deep, near the western part of the Al Aqsa Mosque near the Dung Gate. The tunnel endangered the Islamic Council Building.

April 23, 1984
Extremist Jews entered the Al Aqsa Mosque yard, holding weapons, during the prayer time. They proceeded to commit immoral and indecent acts on the holy site.

September 25, 1984
Members of the Temple Mount Faithful Jewish extremist group attempted to enter the Al Aqsa Mosque yard to pray, but were prevented by Waqf guards.

January 8, 1986
Some Knesset members accompanied by other extremist Jews tried to hold prayers in the Al Aqsa Mosque yard.

January 9, 1986
The Temple Mount Faithful extremist Jews entered the Al Aqsa Mosque yard, after hoisting the Israeli flag at the Dung Gate. Police removed the flag.

January 14, 1986
When Rabbi Eliezer Waldman trespassed into the Al Aqsa Mosque yard, hundreds of Muslim youth demonstrated against his entry. Military forces used tear gas to disperse the demonstrators and arrested 19 persons.

January 19, 1986
The Kach movement, led by Meir Kahane, violently attempted to enter the Al Aqsa Mosque yard. They were prevented by border guards, and detained for one hour and then released.


Since 1967, Israeli authorities have violated Muslim rights in the Ibrahimi Mosque (Mosque of the Patriarchs) in Hebron, by restricting Muslims to praying in the Mosque only on Fridays. Jewish tourists desecrated this holy Mosque and often embarrassed and ridiculed Muslims while praying. Contrary to Muslim rights, Jews encroached on the Mosque and started using part of it for Jewish prayers. Against the protests of the Muslims of Hebron and the Islamic Higher Council in Jerusalem, Jewish authorities brought hundreds of benches and placed them in the Mosque. Jews built a roof on a part of the mosque, with the object of converting it into a Jewish synagogue.

On the 16th of November 1972 the Chairman of the Islamic Higher Council in Jerusalem, Sheikh Hilmi Al-Muhtasib, held a press conference outside Al Aqsa Mosque. As reported in the Jerusalem Post of November 17, 1972, Sheikh Al-Muhtasib stated: "Ever since the West Bank was occupied in June 1967, Jews have been forcing their way into Hebron's Ibrahimi Mosque, committing acts of provocation and being insensitive to the feelings of the Muslims, the shrine's legitimate owners." Sheikh Al-Muhtasib stated further "that the site was gradually being turned into a synagogue. The latest act of aggression at the Hebron shrine was the most serious in a list of trespasses committed since 1967.'' In reply to a question, Sheikh Al-Muhtasib said: "Muslims did not oppose Jewish visits to the Hebron shrine, but were against Jews holding prayers on the site, which has been a mosque for the past 14 centuries. There can be no compromise on this."

During the first week of August, 1975, the Jewish press published information that the Israeli cabinet had decided to introduce new arrangements for Jewish and Muslim prayers at the Muslim mosque. The new arrangements provided for the divisions of the Holy Site space-wise rather than timewise, as theretofore. Two halls of the Mosque were to be reserved for Muslim prayers throughout the day, and three halls were to be used for Jewish prayers only.


May 27, 1982
On Friday a group of Jewish settlers prevented Muslims from praying in the Ibrahimi Mosque and brought in a three meter long table and put wine on it.

June 2, 1982
Jewish settlers made preparations for prayer in the Ibrahimi Mosque with the full knowledge in advance of the Israeli Military Governor.

June 13, 1982
Jewish settler trespassers held a wedding in the Ibrahimi Mosque hall from 6 p.m. until midnight.

July 1, 1982
Jewish settler trespassers brought iron cupboards and chairs into the Jacobite and Ibrahimi tomb rooms inside the Ibrahimi Mosque.

September 14, 1982
Israeli soldiers prevented Muslims from holding their dawn prayers.

September 27, 1982
Jewish settlers blew on the ram's horn to disrupt the noon, afternoon and sunset Muslim prayers.

October 24, 1982
Jewish settlers brought Hebrew manuscripts in frames into the Ibrahimi and Jacobite tomb rooms, as part of their attempt to change the Ibrahimi Mosque into a synagogue.

November 27, 1982
Those responsible for the Ibrahimi Mosque were informed that Jews would place the Torah inside the mosque, as part of their attempt to change the Mosque into a synagogue.

November 29, 1982
Two hundred Jewish settlers broke into the Ibrahimi Mosque at night, bringing tables and bottles of Coke into the Jacobite and Yusifyeh tombrooms.

December 16, 1982
Soldiers placed a candlestick on the Salah Eddin Ayubi citadel, close to the Ibrahimi Mosque, and then brought a gas stove into the mosque.

December 18, 1982
Israeli soldiers brought a dining table into the Ibrahimi Mosque and ate their lunch.

January 29, 1983
Jewish settlers drank wine in the Ibrahimi Mosque.

February 28, 1983
After finishing their prayers inside the Ibrahimi Mosque, Jewish settlers damaged the copper crescent on Lady Rifqa's window.

April 16, 1983
Jewish settlers held a circumcision ceremony inside the Ibrahimi Mosque, drinking wine and partying in desecration of Islamic standards.

May 1, 1983
Jewish settlers held a circumcision ceremony inside Ibrahimi Mosque and Israeli military forces prevented Muslims from visiting the Ibrahimi tomb.

September 9, 1983
A Jewish officer broke a door leading to the Ibrahimi Mosque minaret and damaged its microphone. He then moved the Muslim carpets to make a path for the Jews to enter the Mosque.

November 2, 1983
Jewish settlers put a table and chair in the pulpit, changing the area into a Jewish religious school.

November 23, 1983
Jewish settlers hung the Ten Commandments in the Ibrahimi and Jacobite tomb rooms as part of their attempt to transform the Mosque into a synagogue.

December 26, 1983
Jewish settlers prevented Muslims from entering the Mosque until late morning, as a way of asserting their claim to control the Ibrahimi Mosque.

January 11, 1984
The Military Governor hung three copper pieces holding the Ten Commandments on the three doors of Ibrahimi Mosque, as part of the attempt to transform the Mosque into a synagogue.

May 8, 1984
Jewish settlers erected electric lamps forming Stars of David in the eastern part of the Ibrahimi Mosque and also placed a rostrum there, as part of the attempt to transform the Mosque into a synagogue.

June 14, 1984
Jewish settlers held a wedding inside the Ibrahimi Mosque yard, accompanied by a musical band.

June 24, 1984
Jewish settlers held a circumcision ceremony in the Ibrahimi tombroom, as part of their attempt to seize possession of the Mosque.

September 24, 1984
Israeli soldiers fixed television lenses inside Ibrahimi Mosque.

September 25, 1984
Israeli soldiers stood by as a settler attacked the Mosque guard, Ismail Hamlush.

October 1, 1984
During the noon prayer in Ibrahimi Mosque Jewish settlers provoked praying Muslims by dancing in circles.


July 15, 1983
Jewish settlers placed bombs inside the Khaled Ibn Al Walid Mosque in Hebron. They were discovered and removed before exploding.

December 20, 1983
Jewish extremists placed bombs in the Izariyah Mosque in Jerusalem, They were discovered and removed before exploding.

August 4, 1986
The Haraa Mosque in Gaza was sealed by the Israeli Military Governor on the pretext that it was unlicensed.

September 9, 1986
The Kammaaneh Mosque in Safad was demolished by the Israeli authorities on the grounds that it was built without a license.

December 28, 1986
The Israeli Jerusalem municipal authorities demolished the Hizma Mosque in Jerusalem on the pretext that it was built without a license.


At the 1,421st meeting of the United Nations Security Council on May 3, 1968, the Mayor of East Jerusalem, Mr. Rouhi El Khatib, stated:

To begin with I have to go back to the first week of the occupation and summarize as follows. The Israeli authorities started by spreading horror in all corners of the city, outside the walls and inside, in the mosques as well as in the churches, occupying large buildings and hotels, raiding houses, shops and garages, looting whatever came into their hands, treating cruelly anyone who showed the slightest sign of dissatisfaction, gathering the inhabitants from their homes under severe and arrogant measures, keeping them standing for hours, irrespective of age or sex, and gaoling hundreds and up to thousands for unlimited periods and for no reason whatsoever. In a nutshell, the Israelis were creating waves of fear and terror to force people to leave.

By the end of a week of their occupation the Israeli authorities started a new campaign directed this time against the buildings and the residents of the Maghrabi quarter. That quarter belonged to the North African Moslem communities including those from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya. Here the Israelis bulldozed 135 houses belonging to the Moslem Waqf-Moslem Trust - named after a very respected religious leader called 'Abu Madyan el-Gouth. The houses were demolished and razed within two days, at a time when the curfew extended eighteen hours a day giving the poor residents a warning of only two to three hours. The poor bewildered people were lost and many of them were unable to save more than what they could carry - and that only if it happened that they had no children to look after. No response came to my quick appeal and that of the Municipal Council through the Army liaison officer who was attached to us. The bewildered inhabitants were scattered in the adjacent lanes and streets and some at a later stage found refuge in the neighbouring villages. The total number of persons affected by this campaign was 650. Two small mosques were amongst the demolished buildings. A few days later, a modem plastics factory, owned by an Arab and quite near to the former buildings, was burnt and destroyed by the Israeli armed forces. Two hundred labourers, maintaining two hundred families, became unemployed. Until I was forced to leave the city, and to my knowledge, no compensation was paid to the owner. Similarly, the Israeli authorities continued to occupy many large buildings, including tourist hotels, looting articles therein and adding to the increasing numbers of unemployed Arabs. <

In the second week, the Israeli authorities and Jewish religious bodies directed a third campaign against the inhabitants of the neighbouring area of the Western Wall of the Al Aqsa Mosque, popularly known as the Wailing Wall and legally proved to be Muslim property. That campaign was later extended to cover wider areas in the heart of the Moslem quarters and, to some extent, the standing houses in the old Jewish Quarter, 80 percent of which is Arab property. Inhabitants of that area, comprising some 650 families, constituting around 3,000 inhabitants, were given a warning by Israeli religious bodies - later confirmed by the army authorities -to evacuate within three days at the maximum. That poor group was forced to leave, adding more sorrows to the atmosphere of the city and its embittered residents. Appeals were again submitted by the Arab Municipal Council, which was still operating, but with no response from the Israelis. The destiny of the second group was no less tragic than the former.

At the end of the third week the most effective blow was directed at the entity of the Arab status in Jerusalem. On 27 June, 1967, the Israeli Parliament issued a decree of death to the Arab status of Jerusalem by passing an illegal act through which it announced the annexation of Arab Jerusalem to Israel. That act continued the defiance of General Assembly resolutions 2253(ES-V) and 2254 (ES-V) of 4 and 14 July 1967 respectively. A day later - that is, on 28 June 1967 - the Israeli Minister of Internal Affairs, relying on the former act of the Israeli Parliament, issued an order by which he merged the town planning area of the two sectors of Jerusalem, irrespective of the legal presence of the Arab Municipal Council and against the will of the Arab residents.
On the following day -that is, 29 June 1967 -the Israeli forces completed their plan and issued a Military Defence Order calling for the dissolution of the Arab Municipal Council and dismissing the Mayor and members of the Council. This order was conveyed to a few of us in an urgent and dramatic way - by bringing us from our homes and gathering us in a hotel room occupied by the Israeli forces, where the Israeli Assistant Military Governor of the area then read the contents of that order in Hebrew, with a simultaneous interpretation by their Military Liaison Officer. A copy of the Arabic translation was prepared on the spot and given to us upon our demand by the same Liaison Officer. I still have that document in my possession; a photostatic copy, marked Exhibit I, is presented to the Council. It reads in translation:

"In the name of the Israeli Defence Army, I have the honour to declare to Mr. Rouhi El-Khatib and to the Members of Jerusalem Municipal Council, that the Municipal Council is hereupon dissolved. The Municipality employees, of all departments including administrative and technical, are, hereupon, considered as temporary employees in Jerusalem municipality until their employment is decided by the Jerusalem Municipality after they submit written applications for employment.
"In the name of the Israeli Defence Army, I call upon the Municipality employees to continue their necessary services to the inhabitants of the City.

"I thank Mr. Rouhi El-Khatib and the members of the Municipality for their services rendered during the transitional period commencing upon the entry of the Israeli Defence Army until today."

The document was dated 29 June, 1967; it was read by the Assistant Military Governor of Jerusalem, Yacoub Salman, and translated by Army Liaison Officer David Farhi.

We were subjected to intimidation, and could not show at that time any resistance against such Israeli measures. The only thing left to us was to advise our employees to continue their services for the welfare of the population and the upkeep of the city. <

In this respect I am bound to explain that the Arab Council and myself have spared no effort in quickly resuming our responsibilities and duties right from the second day of the Israeli occupation. We managed to see that services in the fields of sanitation, water supply and electricity were put in order and that shops were reopened, and particularly that foodstuffs were within reach of all residents. We did this in spite of all the difficulties encountered.

The Arab Municipal Council, the various Arab unions and religious representatives in Jerusalem and the west bank of the Jordan have objected and protested in writing against the Israeli destructive measures. Originals of their memoranda were presented to the Israeli military authorities, and copies were handed over to Mr. Ernest A. Thalmann, Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, when meeting our representatives in Jerusalem in August 1967. Texts of these memoranda are to be found in Mr. Thalmann's report to the Secretary-General of 12 September 1967. Full texts of those memoranda are also included in Arabic basic documents under the title: "The Resistance of the Western Bank of Jordan to Israeli Occupation 1967." A copy of his booklet in English, marked Exhibit 11, is hereby presented for the information of the Council.

Since the taking of those destructive measures, the situation in Arab Jerusalem has been deteriorating. Day after day the Israeli authorities are taking one measure after another, carefully planned and quickly executed. It is greatly feared that the Israeli acts will create more bitterness in the hearts of the Arab population, Christians and Moslems, and will incite the feelings of the Moslem and Christian worlds against such measures; it is feared that these may obstruct the mission of Mr. Jarring and may add fuel to the fire in the Middle East.

The Israeli authorities have by their inaction authorized the desecration of Christian and Moslem Holy Places and have permitted access by Jews to these Holy Places during hours of prayer. This complete lack of respect has grossly offended the religious sensitivities of the believers of both religions.

The Holy Places, Christian and Moslem alike, were subjected to repeated desecration not familiar to us. An example was the infamous burglary of one of the largest and holiest churches in the world, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The priceless diamond-studded crown of the statue of the Virgin, Our Lady of Sorrows, on Calvary was stolen. Priests have been victims of aggression, offences and maltreatment by the Jews of Israel. These and similar acts would not happen under Jordanian rule.

The Chief Rabbi of the Israeli Army, Brigadier Goren, with his escort and other Jews, on 15 August 1967, mounted to the Dome of the Rock area with Rabbinical vestments and prayer-books. They conducted a prayer lasting two hours within the confines of the Mosque of Omar area, thus infringing the inviolability of a most Holy Place venerated by Moslems. The Israeli Minister of Religion announced at another time that the Moslem Mosque was Jewish property and that sooner or later they would rebuild their Jewish temple thereon, paving the way to creating the opportunity for laying hands on and destroying the Dome of the Rock, the second holiest place after Mecca for Moslems. Buildings belonging to Islamic Waqf, an Islamic religious institution, adjacent to the Mosque area have been demolished, as stated earlier, with the idea of setting up a Jewish praying centre thereon. What has been Moslem Arab becomes Jewish and Israeli.

"In August 1967 the Israeli army confiscated the keys to one of the gates of the Al Aqsa Mosque. They opened the door to Jewish visitors, or, to be more accurate, Jewish vandalism and desecration. The Israelis made it a point, when visiting the Aqsa, not to miss the Moslem prayer and so disturb those who prayed. The Israeli authorities did not even care to reply to aprotest submitted by Moslem religious authorities against such Israeli behavior. The keys to that gate are still in Israeli hands.

A girls' school building belonging to Moslem Waqf was confiscated by the Chief Rabbi and turned into the High Court of Appeals for Jewish Religious Affairs, inside the city walls. Again, those in charge of Moslem Waqf protested, but in vain, and again what is Moslem and Arab becomes Jewish and Israeli.

Following the annexation of the Arab sector of Jerusalem by Israel, the Israeli Municipality and various Israeli ministerial offices started to apply Israeli laws and regulations and instruct the Arabs of Jerusalem to observe and abide by those laws andregulations. Israelicurrency, customs duties, excises and income taxes, traffic, telephone rates, municipal taxes and by-laws were imposed. Hebrew school curricula were applied for Arab schools and students. The worst of all laws applied was the one called the "Absentees Property Law." This law entitled the Israeli authorities to lay full hands on all movable and immovable properties of absentee Arabs. The so-called "Absentee Arabs" included those working in one of the Arab countries or deserting after 5 June 1967. That illegal practice swallows a great deal of Arab property in the area and is one of the means intended to be used to liquidate the Palestinians and the Palestinian case.

The Israeli Cabinet has recently taken a decision to turn a newly built Arab hospital which was to accommodate patients from Jerusalem and the neighbouring villages into an Israeli police headquarters.

The Arabs of Jerusalem were mostly dependent on the tourist trade. In the past twenty years they succeeded in establishing over fifty hotels and developed a number of tourist agencies, souvenir industries and hundreds of tourist cars and pullman buses, employing over 2,000 employees in those trades. The building industry, with all its branches, was also progressing, recruiting into it about 6,000 employees. Other trades and industries employed about 4,000. The effects of the war, the closing of Arab banks and the confiscation of their cash money, the unbearable conditions imposed by the Israeli authorities for restoring their operations, the stoppage of the flood of cash investments and deposits abroad, the continuous drop in the tourist industry and the closing down of Jerusalem Airport - all those factors have reduced Arab employment by more than 50 percent. Both Arab investors and employees are suffering heavily and the result is serious and dangerous. As a result of all the economic and political pressures, over 8,000 persons have had to leave their city - Jerusalem - and cross the Jordan River.

What is more, merchants of the city sold their goods within almost the first month after the occupation. Israeli trade regulations force them to limit new purchases to articles and goods produced and manufactured mostly in Israel. They are finding themselves dragged under the Israeli national economy umbrella and automatically bound up with the expansionist policy of Israel. Arab wealth and capital are being absorbed and are vanishing in the ocean of Israeli rules and regulations. It is because of such measures and others that the Arabs feel insecure, that their lives and property are in danger, that more signs of danger and expansion are to come and that what is Arab becomes Jewish and Israeli.

I am taking the liberty of delivering two photostatic copies of two new Israeli plans which were disclosed and distributed in Jerusalem early last March.

The first plan, marked Exhibit 111, is a survey plan of the northern of part of Jerusalem. In the centre of the plan there is a dark patch which represents the first area of land which the Israelis have selected for the construction of the first Israeli quarter to be established on the recently seized Arab lands.

The second plan, marked Exhibit IV, is, as you can readily discern, a town planning scheme of the site on which the first Israeli quarter will beconstructed. The plan defines two roads, open spaces and building units. Those two plans have been extracted from an official Israeli pamphlet in Hebrew. I am not aware if the same document is available in Arabic or English for the benefit of the Arabs or others in the occupied territories. It is certain that the publication was originally issued in Hebrew on purpose for the benefit of the Israelis and nobody else. The document contains details of the housing project and methods of appropriating housing sites and building the housing units with long-term and low-interest loans. It is clearly stated that the price of each site is only nominal. Elsewhere in the document are examples of the application forms and advice about the possibility of completing the necessary transactions before the end of March 1968.

The lands concerned are part and parcel of Arab lands and properties in Arab Jerusalem. The Israelis seized these lands under the stress of military occupation. These lands were "seized" because the lands involved were pillaged and confiscated from their rightful and established owners as far back as 1 1 January 1968, in accordance with a so-called Expropriation Bill issued by the Israeli authorities. I present to you a copy of this Bill as an addition to the plans; it is marked Exhibit V.

The area of the land seized is 3,345 dunums — a dunum is equal to 1,000 square meters - and is roughly equal to 848 acres. During the Security Council meeting of 27 April 1968, the Israeli representative claimed that: "Most of the land involved in the reconstruction projects is not Arab, but Jewish-owned and public domain." He further claimed that: "The land records happen to be in Jerusalem, not in Amman." On the other hand, the Israeli authorities in Jerusalem told another story. They said: "One third of the area belongs to Jewish individuals, one third to the Jordan Government and the last third to Arab individuals and corporations."

Both Israeli claims are unfounded and certainly untrue. Official records in the Department of Land Registry in Jerusalem, identical copies of which are available in Amman and London, show beyond any doubt that Jewish organizations and individuals do not own more than 250 dunums, or less than 8 per cent of the total area seized. The Jordan Government owns less than 50 dunums and this is far less than 1 percent, the remaining area, exceeding 3,000 dunums - or roughly 91 per cent - belongs to Arab individuals, families and companies in Jerusalem.

Israel seized these lands in order to build up a Jewish housing area; the initial project covers 600 dunums for about 2,500 housing units. It is reported that construction will be starting very soon.

The present Israeli project is obviously a part of an Israeli expansionist plan designed to build upabelt of Jewish houses, extending from the perimeter of the Jewish quarter in western Jerusalem and heading northeast through the heart of Arab lands and housing areas, with the clear purpose of setting up a fence or rather a dam to separate the Arabs of Jerusalem from their Arab brethren in adjoining villages and other Arab towns to the north of Jerusalem. This project will annul the Arab development plan, which the Arabs have been planning for a number of years.

The map showing the plan and the land expropriated is also presented, as Exhibit VI.

The Israeli project will also contain the Arabs of Jerusalem in a limited space, which will ultimately reduce their numbers and afford Israel the opportunity to bring in new immigrants and make Jews the majority of the population in Arab Jerusalem in a few years.

The constructions of the new Israeli quarter, and the other similar quarters which are intended to follow it, confirms and proves the anxiety and fears of the Arabs that Israeli leaders are planning and working for expansion, and that shows clearly and glaringly that their plea for peace, which they so frequently repeat, is nothing more than a cover for their real expansionist intentions. It is indeed, as time and events have proved, a hypocritical plea.

This Israeli project, like other projects and designs, is most oppressive. It suffocates the attempts and endeavours being made by a number of peace-loving quarters to achieve peace for the area. It in fact impedes and destroys the mission of Mr. Gunnar Jarring the representative of the United Nations.

The Israeli project further shows beyond any doubt that Israel aims at defeating any just solution, in spite of the repeated allegations of its leaders that they cooperate with Mr. Jarring and support his mission.

The Arabs of Jerusalem have raised their voices against the seizure of these lands and branded the Israeli measures as a violation of the United Nations resolutions, of international law and of the Geneva Convention. They confronted the Israeli authorities with a memorandum on 14 January 1968 protesting against this seizure and demanding its annulment. They also forwarded copies of this memorandum to the representatives of the foreign Governments residing in Jerusalem, to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and to his personal representative, Mr. Jarring. A copy of this memorandum is now being presented to you as Exhibit VII.

In addition, the proprietors of the lands concerned have made a similar protest. They totally rejected the seizure of the lands; and a copy of their protest is also presented to you as Exhibit VIII.

We consider the Israeli housing project and the Israeli insistence on carrying it out as fast as possible to be an act of extreme arrogance, calculated, as indeed it is, to disregard and show disdain for the resolutions of the United Nations and strongly infringe the rights of civilian Arab inhabitants. It is an act of aggression against the rights of a sovereign nation, Member of the United Nations.

We also see clearly in this project Israel's deliberate and determined policy to change the outlook and character of Jerusalem and consolidate Israel's territorial expansionist gains, which were brought about by aggression, as the Council is already aware.

Yesterday's military parade is another dagger directed at the core of our hearts and at the prestige of the United Nations. Every Arab in Jerusalem is threatened with being the next victim and every resident in Arab Jerusalem has but one choice: stay and live in misery and oppression, or leave.

The Arabs of Jerusalem raised their voices and protested against the parade. A copy of their protest is hereby presented to the Council as Exhibit IX. The Arab ladies of Jerusalem protested and demonstrated on 25 April 1968. Their demonstration was broken up by Israel police forces. A copy of their protest, together with a set of nine photographs showing the mistreatment by the Israeli policemen, was presented to the Council by the Permanent Representative of Jordan, Mr. El-Farra, on 1 May 1968.

Last but not least, the Israeli authorities refused to implement the Council's resolution 237 (1967), unanimously adopted on 14 June 1967, calling upon the Government of Israel to ensure the safety, welfare and security of the inhabitants of the areas where military operations have taken place and to facilitate the return of those inhabitants who have fled the areas since the outbreak of hostilities.

All the above-mentioned Israeli measures of desecration of Holy Places, of expropriation and annexation of Arab property and land, of confiscation of the so-called absentee property, of refusal to permit Arabs to go back to their houses in Jerusalem, of arresting and arbitrarily detaining thousands of Arabs, of expulsion of many dignitaries of Jerusalem against their will, of dynamiting and bulldozing Arab houses, of building new Jewish settlements within and around Jerusalem, and imposing harsh economic pressures - all these acts and measures are most oppressive; they are designed to change the identity and character of Jerusalem, to turn what is Arab into Jewish and Israeli, and to ensure that the Arab majority there becomes a minority. These unlawful Israeli procedures will continue and gain momentum as long as the Israeli occupation of our Holy City and Arab territories continues. The so-called "Land of Israel Movement" calls for the establishment of Jewish settlements, in what they call the "liberated area," as first priority. The motto of this movement is: "The land is ours if we will occupy it and build it up." That is exactly what the Israeli Government is engaging in, without saying it out loud.

The inhabitants of the Arab sector of Jerusalem and those of the West Bank resolutely proclaim their opposition to all measures which the Israeli occupation authorities have taken and which those authorities regard as constituting a fait accompli not subject to appeal or reversal, namely, the "unification" of the two sectors of the City of Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty. They proclaim to the whole world that this annexation, sometimes camouflaged under the cloak of administrative measures, was carried out against their will and against their wishes.

We consider the Israeli acts of annexation, confiscation and Jewish settlement in Arab land as acts of extreme aggression, calculated, as indeed they are, to disregard and strongly infringe the rights of Arab civilian inhabitants. The Arabs still have faith in the United Nations, but for how long this will continue is another question.


Since March, 1968, the Israeli authorities have engaged a Jewish archaeological team for excavations under, and around, Al Aqsa Mosque with the object of finding traces of the Jewish Temple. They introduced in the Haram Al-Sherif area large digging and earth-moving equipment and made excavations in many parts of the sacred area. They dug tunnels beneath the foundations of Al Aqsa Mosque. The Jerusalem Post Weekly of June 7, 1968, published two pages of photos of the areas excavated and a report about the findings under the headline "Uncovering of the Temple Wall's Outer Pavement."

The Jerusalem Post Weekly states:

Of the Temple itself, not a trace survived Titus' fire in 70 A.D. The only relics are Herod's retaining Walls and - or so the excavators hope - a large part of the First Century B.C. pavement surrounding it. Reaching this marble floor, also laid down by Herod, is the first major goal of the expedition at the site, headed by Prof. Binyamin Mazar. Professor Mazar's workmen are now concentrated along the 70-meter length of the southern wall and, just around the corner, at the Robinson's Arch area of the Western Wall. (Further north along the Western Wall, beyond structures tacked on at later dates, is the section known as the Wailing Wall.)

Professor Mazar told the Post this week that the stratigraphy of the site is "becoming clearer" working down from the Mameluke level in the XIII or XIV Century to the Second Temple period.

Part of the "vision for the future," Prof. Mazar said, "is to move the dig eastward, in the direction of the Ophel, to reach down to the period of the First Temple."

The New York Times of July 11, 1968, published a dispatch from Jerusalem sent by Terrence Smith, under the title, "Traces of Second Temple Found," which stated:

Professor Mazar and a small army of archaeologists and volunteers have been at work at the site since March. The Western and Southern retaining walls are all that remain of the Second Temple. The former, better known as the Wailing Wall, is regarded as Judaism's most sacred site.

Last month the team reached a pavement dating to the discovered. The find was made near the eastern end of the southern wall, in front of what was the double gate that served as the main entrance to the temple.

Again the New York Times of August 15, 1968, published another dispatch from the same correspondent under the title, "Israelis Press Excavation at Temple in Old City of Jerusalem," which stated:

A small army of archaeologists, volunteers and workmen were scraping away the layers of dirt that have for centuries covered the southern retaining walls of the temple. The huge wall and adjacent one of the west, the Wailing Wall, are all that remain of the magnificent Second Temple that was destroyed by the Roman legions under Titus in A.D. 70.

By sinking sample trenches at various points near the southern wall, Professor Mazar has found evidence that there was a huge formal square in front of the temple through which visitors passed en route to the temple. The main entrance to the temple accrding to Josephus, was through a double gate in the center of the southern wall.

Professor Mazar hopes to expose this gate as well, but if he does, he is likely to encounter resistance from the Muslim religious authorities in Jerusalem. they have already made a protest to the United Nations over his work at the western edge of the southern wall charging that it is Muslim property.

The double gate is an even more sensitive issue, however, since it is beneath the silverdomed Al Aqsa Mosque, which is one of the most sacred mosques in Islam. Al Aqsa is situated on top of the southern wall, as is the Islamic Museum and a smaller building known as the Women's Mosque. These buildings lead into the temple mount area, where the shrine of the Dome of the Rock is situated.


A complaint was submitted to the United Nations Security Council on August 28, 1969, by twenty-four Muslim countries due to the attempt to burn Al Aqsa Mosque.

Ambassador Mohmarnad El Farra of Jordan made a statement to the Council in which he stated:

Today, my delegation joins the 24 other members, representing 750 million adherents of the Moslem faith, which requested a meeting to consider another, more serious tragedy, namely, that of Al Aqsa Mosque, and the fire which severely damaged that historic Holy Place on the morning of 21 August 1969.

The Israeli authorities introduced more than one explanation for the start of the fire and at last charged an Australian with the arson. According to news that originated from Israeli sources, the Australian suspect is a friend of Israel who was brought by the Jewish Agency to work for Israel. The Jewish Agency arranged for this Australian to work in a Kibbutz for some months, so that he could learn the Hebrew language and acquire more of the Zionist teachings. The report published in The Jerusalem Post - an Israeli semi-official newspaper - of 25 August 1969 concerning the life of this Australian in the Kibbutz and his dreams of building Solomon's Temple casts doubt on the case and adds to the fears and worries of the Moslems about their holy shrines; it also throws light on who is the criminal and who is the accomplice.

We have not forgotten statements in the early days of the 5 June 1967 Israeli occupation about the future of Jerusalem, nor have we forgotten the report of Menahem Borsh, which was published in Yediot Aharanot of 18 August, 1969, only three days before the burning of the Mosque, emphasizing that the Temple would be built anew in the same spot that "Strangers tried to seize." The desecration of this holy Mosque by a group of the Bitar members only three days before the arson is a living example of Israeli motives and designs.

What happened on 21 August 1969 was not only a premeditated burning of a sacred monument but also an open defiance of our people's feelings and heritage and a cause of deep concern to all peace-loving States. As a result of that criminal act, tension has been escalated in our area, outrage has reached its peak, and there is a situation seriously endangering international peace and security. As I shall now show, the responsibility for the act of arson lies squarely with the Israeli occupiers, who are intoxicated by their military victory and are adamantly proceeding with their illegal plans of expansion, in complete disregard of the will of the international community.

Let us see what did and what did not happen on Thursday, 21 August 1969. In the early hours of that morning fire broke ... Go to part 2


Go to part 2


Encyclopedia of the Palestine Problem
By Issa Nakhleh

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