Israel builds tunnel near al-Aqsa Mosque

PressTV –  Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:26PM

A view of the al-Aqsa Mosque
Israeli archeologists have finished building a tunnel in close proximity to the holy Islamic site of al-Aqsa Mosque, despite the objection of the international community.

The 600-meter tunnel, which starts at an archaeological site just south of the mosque compound, has sparked much controversy, AFP reported Tuesday.

The project is funded by an Israeli hard-line group seeking to expand settlements in East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

At the moment, the tunnel can only be accessed from the Silwan side, a predominantly Arab neighborhood of East al-Quds, but there are plans to create an exit at the other end in the coming months.

In 1996, more than 80 people were killed in three days of protests during Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s first term which were sparked after he authorized a new opening into an ancient tunnel along the mosque compound’s western flank.

Enraged Muslims staged protests when Israel began repair work on a damaged stone ramp leading to the mosque compound.

Israel has defied international calls to halt construction in occupied territories.

HSN/AKM

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PressTV – Israel builds tunnel near al-Aqsa Mosque.

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