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Foundation slams Ayalon clip removing Muslim holy site

Jan. 30, 2013 9:51 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 14, 2013 3:18 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage condemned Wednesday a video by Israel's deputy foreign minister depicting the disappearance of the Dome of the Rock.

A clip of a removed portion of a film by Danny Ayalon that was leaked to Israeli media depicts the dome collapsing in the background as a Jewish temple rises in its place.

Israeli media reported that Ayalon's film was attempting to show time rewinding backwards to show an ancient Jewish temple on the site, removing the present-day Muslim holy site in a video transition that appeared to show it collapsing.

The Times of Israel reported that foreign ministry officials expressed concern about the depiction of the dome crumbling away, so they changed it to a dissolving transition.

Commenting on the video, the al-Aqsa Foundation said it reflected calls by Israeli groups to demolish the al-Aqsa Mosque and replace it with "a legendary alleged Jewish temple."

Some Israeli organizations and groups, the statement added, work systematically to promote this idea, and they receive support from the government.

The foundation quoted a report in Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth saying that the video had been taken down out of concern about angry reactions by Islamic and Arab groups.

“It is time the Islamic nation and the Arab world rise to the challenge. The issue is very momentous and time is very precious,” a spokesman of the Islamic Movement in Israel Zahi Nujeidat said commenting on the video.

The al-Aqsa Foundation said “no matter what the video claims, we reiterate that the Zionist project is based on a dream and a legend of occupying Jerusalem and building the alleged Temple at the expense of al-Aqsa Mosque.”

(This version CORRECTS that the video clip depicts the disappearance of the Dome of the Rock, not the al-Aqsa Mosque.)
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