Sheik Raad Salah, the leader of the Islamic movement in Israel and speaking to Moslem students at Haifa University, told them that he would rather die than to give up the Islamic holy site where the Dome of the Rock is located in Jerusalem, the Temple Mount, and suggested the students should be ready to do the same. Sheik Salah also repeated his claim that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu was intending on completing his plan to gain control of the Temple Mount and to rebuild the Jewish temple on the site that Moslems believe is holy – the third holiest site after Mecca and Medina.
It’s only a drill, chorused the prime minister, the defense minister, his deputy and the IDF’s top brass. This is the fourth year in succession that we’ve held it, they all added. It was scheduled long ago, and has nothing to do with any flaring regional tensions. Israel has no desire for war. Israel’s heart is set on peace.
The message from Jerusalem, as the Turning Point 4 national civil defense exerciseunfolded this week, was clear, emphatic… and partially accurate. This was indeed the fourth successive year in which such exercises have been held. The four-day drill was certainly scheduled long ago. And Israel emphatically has no desire for war.