The Hamas terrorist organization will hold both the Israeli government and the U.S. administration responsible for any attack against Al-Aq’sa mosque in Jerusalem, reports the Hamas website.
Hamas was responding to a statement by Israeli Minister of Internal Security Tzahi Hanegbi on July 24, in which he warned that extreme-right activists will try to harm Al-Aq’sa mosque in the coming weeks, in order to sabotage the implementation of the Gaza-withdrawal plan.
Hanegbi said, “There is no specific information… but there are alarming indications that this pertains to realistic and not philosophical planning.”
“The warnings regarding this seem as if they are in themselves preparation for a crime,” said Hamas in a press release. “The guarding of Islamic religious sites, mainly Al-Aq’sa mosque, is a religious and national obligation.”
The Hamas website warned the “Zionist occupation authorities and the U.S. administration which aids them,” that any damage inflicted on the mosque will be followed by a retaliation.
Al-Aq’sa is considered one the holiest mosques in the Muslim world. The Palestinians claim that then-head of the opposition Ariel Sharon’s visit to the mosque’s compound in September 2000, triggered their uprising which continues to the present day.