So, It’s Actually 144 Dunams Minus

There is something wrong with Jordan’s King Abdullah.

He told a delegation of east Jerusalem figures on Wednesday evening that no cameras would be installed inside the Aksa Mosque.  But there’s a problem there.

As known, Muslims assert that the entire 144 dunam enclosed compound they call Haram A-Sharif is one big mosque.

Mahmoud Al-Habbash, the Supreme ‎Shari’ah Judge and Mahmoud Abbas’ ‎Advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs was quoted so:

‎‎“As far as we are concerned, the entire ‎Al-Aqsa Mosque, whose area is…144 dunams…includes the covered Al-‎Aqsa Mosque, that is, the Southern ‎Mosque, as well as the ancient ‎underground Al-Aqsa Mosque beneath ‎the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Marwani Prayer ‎Hall [Solomon’s Stables], the Dome of the ‎Rock, the courtyards and porticoes, ‎schools and walls – including the Al-‎Buraq Wall (i.e., the Western Wall)…

That also explains, incidentally, the definition of the Haram as contained in the Jordan-PA March 2013 agreement:

Al Masjid Al Aqsa with its 144 dunums, which include the Qibli Mosque of Al Aqsa, the Mosque of the Dome of the Rock and all its mosques, buildings, walls, courtyards, attached areas over and beneath the ground and the Waqf properties tied-up to Al Masjid Al Aqsa, to its environs or to its pilgrims (hereinafter referred to as “Al Haram Al Sharif”);

As Ruth Lapidot has noted,

Unfortunately, the term Muslim Holy Shrines was not defined in the Israel–Jordan Peace Treaty, and the parties to the new [2013] agreement give it an extremely broad meaning: “Al Masjid Al Aqsa with its 144 dunams, which include the Qibli Mosque of Al Aqsa, the Mosque of the Dome of the Rock and all its Mosques, buildings, walls, courtyards, attached areas over and beneath the ground, and
the Waqf properties tied-up to Masjid Al Aqsa, to its environs or to its pilgrims (hereinafter referred to as ‘Al Haram Al Sharif’),” namely, the whole Temple Mount and even its “environs.” In addition, the text refers to all the places that are sacred to Muslims, without specifying their names…the entire city could be considered a Holy Place of Islam.

But if, indeed, the two mosques will be exempt from monitoring by security cameras, in an apparent attempt to allay Palestinian concerns about his plan to install the cameras inside the hilltop compound, my logical conclusion is that the mosques are indeed separate entities from the complex as a whole.

So, what is it?

Previously, it was reported that he told a delegation of visiting Israeli Arab Knesset members that the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem was for “Muslim prayer only.”

What then is “Al-Aqsa”? The actual mosque buildings or the entire compound?  Can Jews pray outside the building as could be inferred from his statement this week?

Is Abdallah playing with us or with the Palestinian Authority or with Secretary of State John Kerry?

Is it the whole 144 dunams or something less?

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About the Author
Yisrael Medad, currently is a Research Fellow at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem and Deputy Editor of the English Language Anthology of Jabotinsky's Writings. American-born, he and his wife made Aliyah in 1970. He resides in Shiloh since 1981. He was a member of the Betar Youth Movement World Executive and is a volunteer spokesperson for the Yesha Council. He holds a MA in Political Science from the Hebrew University and is active is many Zionist and Jewish projects and initiatives.
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