Over the Easter and Pessah holidays, the BBC News website’s Middle East page included in its ‘Features & Analysis’ section a written report about Jerusalem published on April 17th.
“What makes Jerusalem so holy?” – by Erica Chernofsky – laudably avoids some of the more common errors made by many a foreign journalist by correctly pointing out the 1949 ceasefire (or armistice) line and by accurately depicting the Western Wall.
“The Jewish Quarter is home to the Kotel, or the Western Wall, a remnant of the retaining wall of the mount on which the Holy Temple once stood.
Inside the temple was the Holy of Holies, the most sacred site in Judaism.
Jews believe that this was the location of the foundation stone from which the world was created, and where Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac.
Today, the Western Wall is the closest place Jews can pray to the Holy of Holies.”
However, the article also states that:
“The Muslim Quarter is the largest of the four and contains the shrine of the Dome of Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque on a plateau known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif, or the Noble Sanctuary.”
The Temple Mount or Haram al Sharif – location of the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa Mosque – is of course a separate area and it is not located within the Muslim quarter any more than it is situated in the adjacent Jewish quarter, although both those quarters adjoin parts of its walls.