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 told 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, a 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.”