“I have believed for a long time that Israel wants this al-Aqsa Mosque simply not to exist,” Mark Dankof told Press TV on Friday.
“Basically I think this [settlement expansion] is part of a systematic plan to take all of Jerusalem and to replace … the al-Aqsa Mosque with a so-called rebuilt Jewish temple based on the model of the one that was destroyed in 1870,” he added.
On Thursday, the Israeli regime approved the construction of 1,600 new illegal settlement units in East al-Quds (Jerusalem).
According to Israeli officials, Tel Aviv also plans to authorize the building of another 2,700 illegal housing units in the occupied land within “a couple of days.”
(www.presstv.ir / 14.08.2011)
The regime claims the construction has been endorsed because of the “economic crisis” in Israel.
Israelis have been protesting against rising housing prices and social inequalities since mid-July. The protesters demand a new taxation system (lower indirect taxes, higher direct taxes), free education and childcare, an end to the privatization of state-owned companies and more investment in social housing and public transport.
Israel occupied East al-Quds alongside the West Bank in 1967 and later annexed both territories. The international community has refused to recognize either of the moves.
In September 2010, the Israeli regime resumed the expansion of settlements in occupied Palestinian territories after a 10-month partial freeze, prompting the Palestinian Authority (PA) leaders to break off US-sponsored talks with Tel Aviv that had been resumed after a lengthy stalemate.