Following a series of low-magnitude earthquakes felt in northern Israel and in neighboring countries in early July, Palestinian clerics, both Muslim and Christian, stated that some elements in Israel are acting to demolish the Al-Aqsa mosque and build the Jewish Temple in its place, and warned that Israel may exploit a natural earthquake or cause an artificial one to destroy the mosque.

It should be mentioned that MEMRI recently published translated excerpts from an article by Kamal Zakarneh, a columnist for the Jordanian daily Al-Dustour,  who wrote that the recent quakes in northern Israel may have been caused by the underground testing of nuclear or other weapons that Israel is developing with the ultimate aim of toppling Al-Aqsa, the Dome of the Rock and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

The following are excerpts from the statements by the Palestinian clerics:

Al-Aqsa Preacher Ikrima Sabri: The Occupation Is Preparing Something To Harm Al-Aqsa

Former Jerusalem mufti Ikrima Sabri, a preacher at the Al-Aqsa mosque, said: “The excavations beneath the Al-Aqsa mosque are unceasing, and their pace has [even] increased and become more severe. … These excavations must not be accepted, for they constitute flagrant aggression against Al-Aqsa and the waqf. … All signs indicate that the occupation is preparing something to harm Al-Aqsa. … We must beware [and realize that] the occupation may cause an earthquake to destroy Al-Aqsa. The occupation and its government may take advantage of natural and unnatural circumstances to realize the plot to destroy Al-Aqsa. There is a network of tunnels down there that reach deep [beneath] Al-Aqsa.”

Deputy Head Of The Northern Branch Of The Islamic Movement In Israel: The Occupation May Be Trying To Cause An Earthquake To Topple Al-Aqsa

The deputy head of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Kamal Al-Khatib, said: “Although [people] speak of destroying the blessed Al-Aqsa in order to build the ‘Temple’ upon its ruins, Israel will never agree to such an insane move. But there are unofficial elements who do their utmost to accelerate the destruction of the mosque and remove [all] signs of Arab and Muslim culture from the city of Jerusalem.

As for the recent earthquakes in northern Palestine, it cannot be ruled out that the occupation is responsible for actions that could cause such earthquakes with the aim of destroying Al-Aqsa and [then claiming], as a pretext, that it was the result of a natural disaster.”

Greek Orthodox Archbishop In Jerusalem: The Quakes Are Artificial And Aimed At Destroying Religious And Historic Monuments In The City, Including Al-Aqsa  

Archbishop Atallah Hanna from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem said: “What is happening is part of a dangerous ongoing plot aimed at harming the holy site of Al-Aqsa. … The artificial earthquakes that we hear about every day are a prelude to the bigger quake that will hit Al-Aqsa and other historic and religious monuments in the city of Jerusalem.”

Full report here.