A New Minaret over the Temple Mount: No One Seems to be Happy

Two stories from the Middle East today, or one story, two sides:

Olmert consents to Muslim prayer tower while denying Jewish plans for synagogue

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 rightist Jewish groups had petitioned to build a synagogue.

Palestinians express concern as Israel starts demolishing works near Aqsa Mosque

Israel has imposed restrictions on access to Islam’s third holiest site for fear of demonstrations against building work near Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque compound.

“Only Muslim men who are married, over 45 years old, and who have a blue Israeli identity card, in addition to all Muslim women, will have access to the Temple Mount on Sunday,” police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld told AFP. “On their side, Jews and tourists will also not be allowed to visit the site.”

Muslim leaders have called for protests against planned work on the nearby Dung Gate to the Old City that they say threatens the foundations of the mosque compound. The Palestinians claim Israel is to start demolishing two rooms in al Aqsa Mosque and the Maghareba gate road, which is one of the Mosque’s historical gates, in line with the Israeli plan “to demolish the entire holy shrine and build the alleged temple in its place.”