Sometime around 10:15 on the morning of June 7, 1967…
The first reservist paratroopers of Brigade 55 broke through the Lion’s Gate leading into the Old City of Jerusalem and reached the narrow enclave of the Western Wall. Having just fought a fierce two-day battle in the streets of east Jerusalem, they grieved for lost friends, and grieved as well for their own lost innocence in what for many was their first experience of combat. They leaned against the Wall, some in exhaustion, some in prayer. Several wept, instinctively connecting to the Wall’s tradition of mourning the destruction of the Temple and the loss of Jewish sovereignty—precisely at the moment when Jewish sovereignty over Jerusalem had been restored.
Several hours later, Yitzhak Yifat, a twenty-four-year-old reservist about to begin medical school, reached the Wall. As part of the brigade’s 66th Battalion, he and his friends had fought in the Six Day War’s toughest battle: Intimate combat against elite Jordanian Legionnaires in the trenches of Ammunition Hill, on the road to Mount Scopus.
This week PA Minister of Religious Affairs Mahmoud al Habbash claimed the Western Wall belonged to Palestine.
The Jerusalem Post reported:
Mahmoud al Habbash demands Western Wall be returned to PA, yet remain open to Jewish worship.
Jerusalem, including the Western Wall, rightfully belongs to the Palestinians, PA Minister of Religious Affairs Mahmoud al Habbash stated in a Channel 10 interview Monday.
“There will not be peace without putting an end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967. Every piece of land that Israel conquered then belongs to the Palestinians,” claimed Habbash.
Habbash added that “all the holy places, including the Aksa mosque and the Western Wall” rightfully belong to the Palestinian Authority and must be returned as well.
When asked whether Jews will be able to pray at the Western Wall, Habbash said that politics and religion are two separate things and that there will be no religious limitations.