Hassan Asfour: Arafat was killed for believing Solomon’s Temple was in Yemen

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A former Palestinian official involved in the Oslo negotiations affirmed that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat had been assassinated because he was convinced that Solomon’s Temple, also known as The First Temple, was actually located in Yemen and not in Jerusalem.

Hassan Asfour added in his interview with the political program Political Memories, which will be broadcasted later this week on the Al Arabiya News Channel in a sit-down interview with Senior Anchor Taher Barakeh, that Arafat informed Israeli negotiators of his convictions when they demanded him to give the right of sovereignty over the Temple Mount.

Asfour said that Arafat rejected the demand and said to them: "For peace I could give you the right to build a temple in Nablus but not in Jerusalem since the Jews have been present in Yemen and not in Jerusalem”.

In the upcoming episode of the program, Asfour quotes Shlomo Ben-Ami and Amnon Shahak‘s response: “Arafat denied our history and culture, and whoever does this can no longer exist among us”.

He tells Al Arabiya that these words precipitated Arafat's assassination and expressing his conviction that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)’s leader had been in fact assassinated, regardless of the means by which it was achieved.

Asfour, who spoke with Arafat on the subject, quotes then quotes the latter as saying: "I cannot give the Israelis sovereignty over the Temple Mount for they will, later on, find a way in order to bring it down and build a Jewish Temple in its place, reminding him of an image passed out to the Palestinian authority in Tunis which depicted a Jewish Temple in place of the Al-Aqsa Mosque”.

The Western Wall, in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, is the holiest place at which Jews are allowed to pray.

They believe it is what remains of a supporting wall of their biblical second temple, destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.

Immediately above it is the flashpoint shrine known to Jews as the Temple Mount, the holiest in Judaism, revered as the spot where the two biblical Jewish temples once stood.

To Muslims it is the Haram al-Sharif compound, the third-holiest in Islam after Mecca and Medina, and home to the Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock.

The fourth episode of the program Political Memories with Hassan Asfour this week, will broadcast on Friday at 11:30 pm (UAE time) and 19:30 GMT.