"The burnt pulpit was destroyed into pieces," Adnan Husseini, a senior official in the Waqf Authority, which oversees Muslim religious sites, told Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Wednesday, January 24.
"The new one was constructed on the model of the original," he said, adding that computer images were employed to design the pulpit.
The twelve century original pulpit, brought by legendary Muslim hero Salahudin Al-Ayyubi from Allepo in today's northern Syria, was destroyed on August 21, 1969, when a Jewish extremist set the mosque ablaze.
The fire gutted the mosque's southern wing – some 1,500 square meters of a total of 4,400.
The Israeli government initially claimed the fire was triggered by a short circuit but later admitted that Australian Michael Dennis Rohan, who sought refuge in a kibbutz, was found guilty.
The man was set free after receiving psychiatric counseling.
Al-Haram Al-Sharif, which includes Al-Aqsa Mosque, represents the heart of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Jews claim that their alleged Haykal (Temple of Solomon) exists underneath Al-Haram Al-Sharif which was the first qiblah (direction Muslims take during prayers).
Al-Haram Al-Sharif's significance has been reinforced by the incident of Al-Israa' and Al-Mi`raj (the night journey from Makkah to Al-Quds and the ascent to the Heavens by Prophet Muhammad "PBUH").
Husseini said it took the Muslim craftsmen four years to construct a replica of the original pulpit.
"Once the plans were drawn up, it took four years to construct it," he said.
"It is a beautiful piece of art the likes of which has not been seen in 300 years."
Ancient woodworking methods were used in constructing the pulpit, joining the pieces with pegs instead of nails.
Husseini said the new pulpit would take two weeks to install in the mosque.
It was transported overnight Tuesday, January 23, from Jordan under strict security measures, with several streets around the Old City of Al-Quds (occupied East Jerusalem) closed and a helicopter hovering overhead.
The cost of the new pulpit stood at 1.5 million dollars (1.15 million euros), donated by Jordan's King Abdullah II, said Luay Dabbur, a deputy dean at Jordan's Balqa Applied Sciences University where it was built.
Husseini said that replacing the historical pulpit "proves that the extremists will not achieve their goals."
He added that the restoration of the pulpit "is a step toward liberating the mosque and Al-Quds from (Israeli) occupation."
Israel captured and occupied Al-Quds in the six-day 1967 war, then declared its annexation in a move not recognized by the world community or UN resolutions.
Jordan launched on Monday, October 9, a competition to design a fifth minaret for Al-Aqsa Mosque.Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16