‘Dome of the Rock’ is seen replaced by Jewish temple in Israeli ad

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An ad produced by the Israeli Foreign Ministry to promote tourism in Jerusalem showed the holy shrine of the Dome of the Rock being replaced by a Jewish temple.

The Dome of the Rock is a highly-revered shrine for Muslims also known Haram al-Sharif or Noble Sanctuary, which they believe commemorates Prophet Mohammed’s miraculous night journey into heaven.

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister, Danny Ayalon, who takes a pivotal role in the ad by explaining all aspects that distinguished Jerusalem to lure more foreigners to visit, was seen standing and speaking in front of the Dome of the Rock to explain history. While reverting thousands of years back, the Muslim holy shrine was seen digitally transformed into an ancient Jewish temple to emphasize the presence of Judaism before Islam.

“[The Dome] historically was first consecrated by the people of Israel. The great Jewish temple was built here by King Solomon in a place believed by many to be the center of the universe and the gateway connecting heaven to earth,” Ayalon said.

While the Foreign Ministry said that the ad was meant to encourage tourism and enhance Israel’s image worldwide, it opted not to officially release the ad fearing violent reactions from the Palestinians and Muslims.
In the initial version of the ad, the Dome of the Rock was seen demolished and not digitally transformed.

Head of the Supreme Islamic Council in Jerusalem, Ikrima Sabri, said in a press statement that the ad is only “a part of the [Israeli] occupation plans to reveal its hostile intentions towards the holy shrine.”

According to Sabri, “the ad film shows that targeting the shrine is no longer limited to the extremist Jewish groups and that it is now vulnerable to many threats.”

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