World Bulletin/News Desk
A Palestinian NGO on Sunday warned against dangers posed by Israeli excavations underneath Al-Aqsa Mosque.
"Israeli authorities will soon inaugurate tunnels and halls underneath the Ablution Gate of Al-Aqsa Mosque," Palestinian NGO Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowments and Heritage said.
It added in a statement that the inauguration of the halls and the tunnels would follow ten years of Israeli excavations under the Islamic house of worship.
"All archaeological assets on the site are ancient Islamic ones," the foundation said.
It added that Israel wanted to distort and falsify truths behind these assets, claiming that they were linked to the Temple Mount.
For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world's third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the "Temple Mount," claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.
Israeli authorities don't deny the existence of archeological assets in in the area of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. However, it bars Palestinian rights organizations from examining the archeological sites in the area.
Israel's antiquities authority usually declines to comment on the Palestinian reports in this regard, and sometimes questions the credibility of such reports.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state – a move never recognized by the international community.
In September 2000, a visit to the site by controversial Israeli politician Ariel Sharon sparked what later became known as the "Second Intifada," a popular uprising against the Israeli occupation in which thousands of Palestinians were killed.
The roots of the Israel-Palestine conflict date back to 1917, when the British government, in the now-famous "Balfour Declaration," called for "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people."
Israel later occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state – a move never recognized by the international community.
Palestinians continue to demand the establishment of an independent state in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Last Mod: 17 Kasım 2014, 13:51