Olmert consents to Muslim prayer tower while denying Jewish plans for synagogue
WORLDNETDAILY - By Aaron Klein - February 1, 2007 -- JERUSALEM –- Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has given permission for Jordan to build a large minaret adjacent to a mosque on the Temple Mount to call Muslims to prayer at the holy site, WND has learned. The minaret will stand at a site on the Mount where Jewish groups here had petitioned to build a synagogue. A minaret is a tower usually attached to a mosque from which Muslims are called to the five Islamic daily prayers.
There are four minarets on the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism. The new minaret will be the largest one yet. It will be the first built on the Temple Mount in over 600 years and is slated to tower over the walls of Jerusalem's old city. It will reside next to the Al-Marwani Mosque, located at the site of Solomon's Stables.Aryeh Eldad, a Knesset member from Israel's National Union party, last year drew up plans with Jewish groups to build a synagogue near the Marwani Mosque. The synagogue was to be built in accordance with rulings from several prominent rabbis, who said Jews can ascend the Mount at certain areas.
A top leader of the Waqf – the Islamic custodians of the Mount – told WND Olmert's granting of permission to build the minaret in the synagogue's place "confirms 100-percent the Haram al-Sharif (Temple Mount) belongs to Muslims.""This proves Jewish conspiracies for a synagogue will never succeed and solidifies our presence here. It will make Muslims worldwide more secure that the Jews will never take over the Haram al-Sharif," the Waqf official said.Sources in the Jordanian monarchy and the Waqf told WND Olmert earlier this month gave Jordan's King Abdullah official permission to build the minaret. The sources said the minaret will rise 130 feet above the ancient walls of Jerusalem.A senior Olmert adviser today confirmed to WND the Israeli prime minister told Abdullah he will allow the minaret's construction. ---