Worrld Bulletin / News Desk
The Aqsa Foundation for Religious Endowments and Heritage on Monday said it had collected evidence of new Israeli excavations under Al-Aqsa Mosque in the holy city of Al-Quds (occupied East Jerusalem), warning of the dig's effects on the mosque's structural integrity.
"The recent Israeli excavation had been dug under the Bab al-Silsila on the western side of the mosque," the foundation – which is devoted to safeguarding the iconic mosque from Israeli depredations – said in a report, a copy of which was obtained by Anadolu Agency.
"The new excavations are part of the western tunnel, which extends along the western wall of the Al-Aqsa Mosque," it added.
The foundation said the excavations had extended eight meters under the western tunnel.
"Islamic buildings adjacent to the site have been propped up with steel columns and nets, revealing the depth of the [Israeli] excavations," it added.
The foundation asserted that it had documented fresh excavations at more than one site.
It went on to say that it had documented the creation by Israeli authorities of a new Jewish synagogue for women inside the western tunnel.
The foundation also warned of the possible effects of the Israeli dig on sacred Islamic sites in the area, asserting that the self-proclaimed Jewish state sought to change "facts on the ground" in the holy city.
Jews refer to Al-Aqsa as the "Temple Mount," claiming the area had been the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times. Extremist Jews say their awaited messiah will not arrive until a "third" Jewish temple is built on the site.
Palestinians, for their part, want Al-Quds – home to the iconic Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam's third holiest site – as capital of their future state.
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