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US President Donald Trump promised Palestinians that all Muslims would be able to worship at the “al-Aqua mosque” under his Middle East “deal of the century” peace plan – presumably referring to al-Aqsa.
Trump tripped over the name of the mosque – one of the holiest sites in Islam, positioned squarely on top of a site Israel has long coveted for its own Third Temple – as he revealed the details of his long-awaited peace plan on Tuesday with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu.
Israel, along with Jordan’s King Abdullah, will “ensure that the status quo of the Temple Mount is preserved, and all Muslims who wish to visit peacefully and pray at the al-Aqua mosque will be able to do so,” Trump pledged.
He proceeded to fumble the name of the US-assassinated Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, adding that “he was with the head of Hezbollah, and I don’t think they were up to anything good” when the leader of the Quds Force was killed in a US airstrike at Baghdad airport.
Despite the blunders, Trump got a standing ovation after mentioning the assassination – significantly more applause than he’d received for promising Palestinians more than double their current territory and $50 billion in investment. The exact location of that territory wasn’t specified, and another promise – that neither Palestinians nor Israelis would be “uprooted from their homes” – suggested it might not be in what is currently considered Palestine.
Trump later said the iconic mosque’s name correctly, reassuring doubters he was in fact talking about al-Aqsa and not a new ‘Trump Palestine’ casino complex yet to be revealed.