The Al-Aqsa (or Al-Aksa) Mosque is one of the two important buildings erected by Moslems on the platform built by Herod the Great. A Brief Guide to the Dome of the Rock and Al-Haram Al-Sharif, published in 1965, says the Al-Aksa Mosque was built in A.D. 693 or A.D. 705. The other significant building on the platform is called The Dome of the Rock or the Mosque of Omar. It is built over the rock where, according to tradition, Abraham offered Isaac (Genesis 22), and where the Temple of Solomon once stood (1 Kings 6).
This building has often been in the news. In 1951 King Abdullah of Jordan was assassinated in the Mosque. In 1969 an Australian tourist set fire to the building. Just a couple of days ago we saw news reports of disturbances in the Mosque. The Guardian of London headline reports,
Palestinians clash with Israeli troops at al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. Demonstrations at holy shrine erupt into violence as youths fight battles with riot police.