Jerusalem municipality removed Dome of Rock from backdrop to Netanyahu speech
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Jerusalem municipality removed Dome of Rock from backdrop to Netanyahu speech

According to report, mural depicting landmarks on Temple Mount and Old City removes the iconic golden dome from its base

Palestinian Muslim worshipers walk past the Dome of the Rock mosque, situated in the al-Aqsa compound on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City, March 1, 2019, before Friday noon prayers. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)
Palestinian Muslim worshipers walk past the Dome of the Rock mosque, situated in the al-Aqsa compound on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City, March 1, 2019, before Friday noon prayers. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)

The Jerusalem municipality removed the golden dome from the Dome of the Rock in a painting used as backdrop to a speech by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Haaretz daily reported Friday.

Netanyahu and Jerusalem mayor Moshe Lion attended a city hall event Thursday to honor singer and actor Yehoram Gaon. The poster decorating the event consisted of various scenes from the Temple Mount and Jerusalem’s Old City, including the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Redeemer.

But in the painting, the iconic golden dome was removed, showing just the base of the shrine.

The municipality did not respond to a request for a comment, according to Haaretz.

The Temple Mount houses the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa mosque, and is considered Islam’s third-holiest site. It is the holiest place in Judaism, revered by Jews as the location of the biblical Jewish temples.

Under the present arrangement instituted by Israel after it captured Jerusalem’s Old City in the 1967 war, the site, known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif, remains under Jordan’s religious custodianship. Jews are allowed to visit the compound but are barred from religious worship or prayer. The sensitive site has been at the heart of several upticks in Palestinian violence in recent years, over claims Israel was seeking to change the arrangements at the site. Israel denies any such plans.

Last year, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman was part of a controversy after he was pictured with a poster showing the Dome of the Rock removed and replaced with the Jewish Temple.

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman is pictured next to a man holding a poster of the Jewish Temple replacing the Muslim Dome on the Rock on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, at an event for the Achiya educational nonprofit in Bnei Brak, May 22, 2018. (Courtesy: Kikar HaShabbat)

The US Embassy apologized and said that the doctored aerial image of Jerusalem was unknowingly “thrust in front of” Friedman for a photograph during a visit to a non-profit.

Friedman said he was horrified to see the photograph. “I was more mortified than any Palestinian,” he said, restating the US commitment to the status quo at the Temple Mount.

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