Ha’aretz reports today that Minister of Defense Peretz has asked the PM to stop the work on the approach to the Mughrabi gate “for fear of escalation and deterioration in the defense situation.” Mention is made of the importance of avoiding problems at this critical time when the Palestinians are meeting in Mecca (!) and Condoleeza Rice is about to come to the region for a summit.
There have been protests all over the Arab and Muslim world including Syria, Jordan, Iran, etc.
Obviously it’s not difficult to convince Muslims that Israel is trying to destroy the Al-Aqsa mosque, regardless of the facts. The question is, why?
The answer is simple. To make the point that Israel is not sovereign in Jerusalem. If the Arabs can dictate what Israel can and cannot do near the Temple Mount, then they are the true rulers, not Israel. I am expecting that the government of Israel will agree with them. We’ll see.
Update [8 Feb 1501 PST]: A good picture and more explanation here on Israpundit.