On the day that archaeologists announced discovering on the Temple Mount fragments of table vessels and animal bones dating back to Solomon's Temple in the eight century B.C.E. -- the former Mufti of Jerusalem and Fatah's adviser on Jerusalem declared "There was never a Jewish Temple on al-Aqsa (The Temple Mount) and there is no proof that there ever was a temple. Because Allah is fair, he would not agree to make al-Aqsa if there were a temple there for others before hand." [emphasis added]In an interview, Kamal Hatib, vice-chairman of the Islamic Movement, followed a similar theme:
"When the First Temple was built by Solomon – God bless him – Al Aqsa was already built. We don't believe that a prophet like Solomon would have built the Temple at a place where a mosque existed," said Hatib.That interview, in World Net Daily last year, also featured an interview with a former senior leader in the Wakf who spoke on condition of anonymity--for obvious reasons:
"Prophet Solomon built his famous Temple at the same place that later the Al Aqsa Mosque was built..."I am mentioning historical facts," said the former leader. "I know that the traditional denial about the temple existing at the same place as Al Aqsa is more a political denial. Unfortunately our religious and political leaders chose the option of denial to fight the Jewish position and demands regarding Al Aqsa and taking back the Temple Mount compound. In my opinion we should admit the truth and abandon our traditional position." [emphasis added]The former leader went so far as to relate a Muslim tradition that
"most of the first guards of Al Aqsa when it was built were Jews. The Muslims knew at that time that they could not find any more loyal and faithful than the Jews to guard the mosque and its compound. They knew that the Jews have a special relation with this place."--an interesting counterpoint to the desecrations that occurred to Jewish holy places when they were under Jordanian control, a tradition that the Wakf cheerfully continues to this day on the Temple Mount.