ROME (JTA) – An imam identified as being from the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem has called for Israel’s destruction in a recent speech in Milan, a watchdog group said.
According to the Middle East Media Research Institute, or MEMRI, Imam Raed al-Danna (or al-Daan) made the statement an Islamic conference in Milan.
MEMRI, which monitors Arab and other media, posted a video clip of the address that it identified as having run on Al-Jazeera TV on April 27.
In his speech, which ran in Arabic with MEMRI’s English subtitles, the imam urged armies from Arab countries to “liberate” the land.
“In Gaza, there are great and proud men, whose feet are firmly planted in the ground, who have realized that darkness and the Jewish state would vanish, and that the morning sun will rise on Palestine,” he said. “We will return to the sea of Jaffa, to the sands of Haifa, to the palm trees of Beit Shean, and to the hills of Lod and Ramla.”
He went on, “We in the blessed Al-Aksa Mosque await the legions of the conquerors. We await the armies from Tunisia, from Jordan, from Egypt, from Iraq, from the Maghreb and from the Hijaz.”
He concluded, “We await a Muslim leader, whose voice we yearn to hear, shouting to the liberating armies in the Al-Aksa Mosque courtyard: You must say the afternoon prayer only in Safed, Haifa or Jaffa. You must say the afternoon prayer only in Lod and Ramla.”
MEMRI gave no information as to the circumstances or title of the conference.