Following a series of low-magnitude earthquakes felt in northern Israel and in neighboring countries in early July, Palestinian clerics, both Muslim and Christian, stated that some elements in Israel are acting to demolish Al-Aqsa and build the Jewish Temple in its place, and warned that Israel may exploit a natural earthquake or cause an artificial one to destroy the mosque.
It should be mentioned that MEMRI recently published translated excerpts from an article by Kamal Zakarneh, a columnist for the Jordanian daily Al-Dustour, who wrote that the recent quakes in northern Israel may have been caused by the underground testing of nuclear or other weapons that Israel is developing with the ultimate aim of toppling Al-Aqsa, the Dome of the Rock and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
The following are excerpts from the statements by the Palestinian clerics:
Al-Aqsa Preacher Ikrima Sabri: The Occupation Is Preparing Something To Harm Al-Aqsa
Former Jerusalem mufti Ikrima Sabri, a preacher at the Al-Aqsa mosque, said: "The excavations beneath the Al-Aqsa mosque are unceasing, and their pace has [even] increased and become more severe... These excavations must not be accepted, for they constitute flagrant aggression against Al-Aqsa and the waqf... All signs indicate that the occupation is preparing something to harm Al-Aqsa... We must beware [and realize that] the occupation may cause an earthquake to destroy Al-Aqsa. The occupation and its government may take advantage of natural and unnatural circumstances to realize the plot to destroy Al-Aqsa. There is a network of tunnels down there that reach deep [beneath] Al-Aqsa."
Deputy Head Of The Northern Branch Of The Islamic Movement In Israel: The Occupation May Be Trying To Cause An Earthquake To Topple Al-Aqsa
The deputy head of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Kamal Al-Khatib, said: "Although [people] speak of destroying the blessed Al-Aqsa in order to build the 'Temple' upon its ruins, Israel will never agree to such an insane move. But there are unofficial elements who do their utmost to accelerate the destruction of the mosque and remove [all] signs of Arab and Muslim culture from the city of Jerusalem.
As for the recent earthquakes in northern Palestine, it cannot be ruled out that the occupation is responsible for actions that could cause such earthquakes with the aim of destroying Al-Aqsa and [then claiming], as a pretext, that it was the result of a natural disaster."
Greek Orthodox Archbishop In Jerusalem: The Quakes Are Artificial And Aimed At Destroying Religious And Historic Monuments In The City, Including Al-Aqsa
Archbishop Atallah Hanna from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem said: "What is happening is part of a dangerous ongoing plot aimed at harming the holy site of Al-Aqsa... The artificial earthquakes that we hear about every day are a prelude to the bigger quake that will hit Al-Aqsa and other historic and religious monuments in the city of Jerusalem."
Archibishop Atallah Hanna (image: wattan.tv, June 16, 2018)
PA Mufti: Excavations Near Al-Aqsa May Destabilize And Destroy The Islamic Monuments
The mufti of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Authority (PA), Muhammad Hussein, who is likewise a preacher at Al-Aqsa, warned that the archeological excavations in the vicinity of the mosque put it in danger of collapsing, especially in case of an earthquake. He said: "The disaster of the excavations that the occupation authorities are conducting in the Umayyad palaces, [located] beneath the northern part of the Islamic Museum, west of the blessed Al-Aqsa mosque, may destabilize the Islamic monuments in the entire area and cause them to collapse. [The occupation authorities may be doing this] with the aim of changing the identity of the holy city and Judaizing it completely." He added: "The occupation authorities are pretending to be searching for the foundations of their 'Temple', and the consequences of the excavations pose a great danger to the blessed Al-Aqsa, especially if an earthquake occurs, which may cause great damage to buildings and passageways." Hussein demanded that all Arab and Muslim countries and governments, and all relevant UN institutions, chiefly UNESCO, "take immediate action and immediately pressure the occupation authorities to stop the implementation of these plans, which are bound to increase tensions in the entire region."
 See MEMRI Special Dispatch No.7567, Jordanian Columnist: Recent Earthquakes In Region May Be Due To Testing Of Israeli Weapons Intended To Destroy Al-Aqsa, Church Of The Sepulcher, July 16, 2018.
Jordanian Columnist: Recent Earthquakes In Region May Be Due To Testing Of Israeli Weapons Intended To Destroy Al-Aqsa, Church Of The Sepulcher
 Mashreqnews.net, July 19, 2018.
 Albosala.com, July 24, 2018.
 Alquds-online.org, July 23, 2018.
 Alhaya.ps, July 18, 2018.