Palestinian Web site knocks Wall

JERUSALEM — Like many a government, the Palestinian Authority has entered the Information Age with its own World Wide Web site.

But the Palestinian site — — has some unusual postings — such as its declaration that Jerusalem's Western Wall is not the surviving remnant of the Jewish Second Temple.

The Palestinian site charges that the Israeli government has turned the Wall into a religious shrine and prohibited non-Jews from entering (anyone can pray at the Wall).

The Palestinian Web site, which is subtitled, "Jerusalem Our Capital," lists "the most important sites for the three monotheistic religions" as the al-Aksa Mosque atop Jerusalem's Temple Mount, the Dome of the Rock also atop the mount, Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Church of Gethsemane and the al-Boraq Wall — known to Jews as the Western Wall or Kotel.

According to the Web site, the Wall, "part of the exterior facade of the Western Wall of al-Aksa Mosque," was where al-Boraq, the creature that carried Mohammed to heaven, was tied.

"Some Orthodox religious Jews consider it as a holy place for them, and claim that the wall is part of their temple. All historic studies and archeological excavations have failed to find proof for such a claim," the Web site says.

"In order to undermine the foundations of al-Aksa Mosque, the Israeli government has converted it into a religious shrine for Jews, prohibiting non-Jews to enter it, except for a limited number of tourists."

In another section, Israel is accused of having sent its archaeological teams to excavate around and below al-Aksa, "which has caused great damage to the historic buildings."

Israel, it says, has desecrated Islamic holy places, setting fire to al-Aksa in 1969 and attempting to blow it up in 1980. In fact, a militant Islamic fanatic set fire to the mosque in 1969."

In contrast, the content of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's new Web site sets a different tone.

It shows photographs of Netanyahu with Arafat, and with such world leaders as President Bill Clinton, Jordan's King Hussein, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Pope John Paul II and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl.

The Prime Minister's Office site, found at, has been produced in Hebrew and English.