Tel Aviv, 2008
Michael Dennis Rohan is an Australian citizen who gained worldwide infamy on August 21, 1969, when he attempted to set fire to the Al-Aqsa mosque, located atop the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Rohan was arrested for the arson attack on August 23, 1969. He was tried, found to be insane, hospitalized in a mental institution and later deported from Israel. Rohan, a Christian and considering himself "the Lord's emissary", stated that he tried to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque acting upon divine instructions to enable the Jews of Israel to rebuild the Temple on the Temple Mount in accordance with the Book of Zechariah, thereby hastenthe second coming of Jesus as the Messiah to rule the world for one thousand years. The Palestinian and Arab press had claimed Rohan was of Jewish origin. These claims remain till today and Palestinian organistions still commemorate the date. Yasser Arafat said that this arson attempt was his motive for attacks against Israel.