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The Future of Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Light of Trump’s Deal of the Century

U.S. President Donald Trump declared his long-awaited and debated Middle East ‘peace plan,’ the so-called ‘deal of the century,’ in January 2020, standing alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. With regards to al-Aqsa Mosque, the plan puts forth the Zionist prospect and point of view, while undermining the Islamic importance of the area. It also would, in practice, lead to three main changes that would undo the centuries-old status quo completely: the transfer of the site to Israeli sovereignty, the repealing of Jordan’s apparent custodianship over it, and the expiry of the ban on non-Muslim prayer. This, in turn, would give Israel full control over the site of al-Aqsa Mosque compound, something it could not achieve during the 1967 occupation of the city. Such changes would not only mean that Muslims lose further access to their mosque, but would also allow people of other faiths, particularly Jews, to share the site with Muslims in preparation for a full Jewish monopoly over the site and the building of a Jewish temple on its site.

The Future of Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Light of Trump
 

 

 

 

Introduction

 

The holy region, Islamicjerusalem (Bayt al-Maqdis), and the city at its heart –today known as Jerusalem (al-Quds)– has been significant from time immemorial: religiously, historically, and geopolitically. Following centuries of peace and harmony, amongst the three monotheistic religions during the Mamluk and Ottoman periods, the region has been in turmoil since December 1917 when British rule began, with no successful formula for the implementation of a fair coexistence, sustainable peace, and just stability. Many resolutions and peace initiatives were declared related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict even before the Zionist state was established in 1948. Zionist occupation only increased the polarization of, and problems for, the region and its inhabitants. There are many resolutions declared by the United Nations that are accepted as the international law applying to the status quo of Jerusalem; the position of al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy places; the state of Palestine and the two-state solution; the borders drawn pre-1967; Israeli settlements; and the right of return for Palestinian refugees. But none could be implemented due to the Israeli occupation and the United States’ unequivocal support for Israel.

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