JNS.org – A number of official Palestinian Authority (PA) media reports recently blamed Israel and Jews for setting fire to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem in 1969, even though the arson was proved to have been committed by non-Jewish Australian tourist Denis Michael Rohan,Palestinian Media Watch reported Aug. 29.
On Aug. 23, PA Minister of Religious Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash toldÂ PA TV, “Where is the Al-Aqsa Mosque?… It is lost. It was set on fire 44 years ago by criminal hands, in the shadow of a criminal occupation (referring to Israel), and acting in collusion with the criminal occupation (Israel).”
The official PA daily newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, wrote,“Today, Wednesday, Aug. 21, is the 44th anniversary of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque fire of 1969, after the radical Jew Michael Denis [Rohan] set fire to the Mosque.” Rohan was a member of a Christian sect, the Worldwide Church of God. He was hospitalized in a mental institution after his trial in Israel.
Also on Aug. 21, aÂ PA TV narrator said, “On August 21, 1969 AD, after East Jerusalem was occupied, one of the Jews set fire to the Al-Aqsa Mosque so that it would go up in flames. The fire completely destroyed its wooden platform, ornaments and southern sections.”