On an area of 50 dunams lies the eastern part of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem. It holds strategic and vital significance housing numerous archaeological and historical landmarks. These places have been facing monstrous Judaization plans. The Israeli occupation is presiding over these areas as a prelude to establishing a Jewish synagogue.
The eastern part, which constitutes approximately one-third of the total area of Al-Aqsa Mosque-144 dunams, includes several landmarks such as the Marwani Prayer Hall, the Mihrab of Dawood, the terraces, the Bab al-Rahma Prayer Hall, the Dar al-Hadith, the Gate of Repentance, the Ghazaliyya School, and the Asbat Gate, in addition to various passageways and 100-olive-trees zone.
However, this strategic area has not been immune to the Israeli occupation violations, which seek to confiscate and divide it as part of its Judaization plans to gain complete control over the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
According to the Deputy Director-General of the Islamic Waqf in Jerusalem, Najeh Bakirat, the Israeli occupation is relentlessly attempting to seize the area by hindering its renovation and reconstruction, in addition to desecrating it by colonial settlers’ incursions, including performing Talmudic rituals, as well as arresting and assaulting anyone dares to enter it.
In 2000, the Israeli occupation banned the Islamic Waqf from proceeding with the renovation and reconstruction of the eastern part of Al-Aqsa, turning it into an area of accumulated waste and stone piles.
Since then, the Israeli occupation has been promoting a misleading narrative alleging that it is empty and unused.
In 2003, the Israeli occupation planned to isolate, seize, and divide the area, assigning engineering teams to take measurements until it became continuously targeted by Israeli authorities.
Bakirat reported that the Israeli occupation prevented the removal of debris and stone piles from the area after renovating the Marwani Prayer Hall, trying to prove that the area was abandoned and unused.
In this regard, extremist settlers’ groups ceaselessly have taken the area as a worshipping place to perform their Talmudic rituals and prayers, after which they gather to conduct explanatory sessions on the alleged “Temple.”
At equal footing, Bakirat accentuates the fact that the Israeli occupation is committing numerous violations against the Bab al-Rahma Prayer Hall, which holds great religious and historical significance, in an attempt to gain full control over the Al-Aqsa Mosque, facilitating a seizer of the area to convert it into a Jewish synagogue.
It is evident that the Israeli government and its extremist settlers’ groups are attempting to make the best out of the Bab al-Rahma area to fulfil their ambitions of removing the control of the Waqf (Islamic Endowment), and imposing full sovereignty over Al-Aqsa.
During the blessed month of Ramadan, worshippers are keen to clean and rebuild the eastern area of Al-Aqsa with the aim of thwarting the Israeli plans and settlers’ attacks.
According to Bakirat, this area holds valuable significance as it includes some fruitful trees and ancient stones that signify its Arab-Islamic identity. The Israeli occupation attempts to use it as a cover to promote its fabricated Talmudic narrative about the place.
Achieving this aim, Israeli occupation also strives to distance Palestinians through continuous persecution, arrests, and ongoing targeting, in addition to portraying it as a “religiously affiliated area” to ‘Israel’.
To thwart the Israeli plans regarding the eastern area, as emphasized by the Deputy Director-General of the Waqf, it is necessary to keep Bab al-Rahma, the prayer areas, and the terraces open at all times for prayers, acts of worship, Quranic recitation, and various activities.
He adds, “The Waqf must intensify the reconstruction of the area, clean it, trim the trees, and organize the courtyards, especially in Bab al-Rahma and the Marwani Prayer Hall. It is also crucial to present the true narrative about the area and as an integral and important part of Al-Aqsa.”