PressTV – New al-Quds project irks Palestinians

Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:52AM
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A view of the Western (al-Buraq) Wall in East al-Quds (Jerusalem)
Palestinians have censured the completion of a new tunnel in East al-Quds (Jerusalem) and described it as part of a systematic plan to further Judaize the holy city.

“This tunnel is a disaster from a historical and archeological point of view. There is no relation to the narrative of the Old Testament. Israelis imagine that this tunnel dates back to the time of King David. This narrative is false. In King David’s, there is no reference to this tunnel,” Jamal Amro, a professor at Birzeit University, told Press TV on Wednesday.

Israeli Antiquities Authority announced on Tuesday that its archeologists had completed the work on a 700-meter-long tunnel, which will open up an underground passage for visitors directly underneath the al-Quds city walls, not far from the al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

The new tunnel connects the City of David near the Silwan Wall to the Archaeological Park and Davidson Center, located in close proximity to the Western (al-Buraq) Wall in the eastern part of al-Quds. It was originally built as a drainage channel during the Second Temple period.

Palestinian experts believe the new project is part of the Israeli Antiquities Authority’s campaign to distort the history of al-Quds.

“This project is designed to lure tourists and Judaize the city of al-Quds,” Najib Bekairat from al-Aqsa Institute for Heritage Studies said in an interview with Press TV.

The canal is one of many dug in the al-Quds neighborhood of Silwan – just a short distance from the al-Aqsa Mosque.

Palestinians believe that Israel is trying to link these tunnels together in order to reach the highly sensitive areas of the Western Wall and from there, dig further underneath al-Aqsa Mosque.

“The tunnel links the Western Wall with the Silwan Wall water spring. Israelis will turn a boost on the neighborhood into a Jewish archeological park” Jawad Siyam, from the Wadi Hilweh Information Center, told Press TV.

Israel occupied and annexed East al-Quds in 1967 in a move never recognized by the international community.

Palestinians say Israel’s excavation and settlement construction activities undermine their efforts to establish a state on territory Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war.

Israel has demolished 995 Palestinian homes and displaced 5,783 individuals, including 3,109 children, in occupied al-Quds since the start of 2000, according to the Palestinian Information Center.

MP/TG/HRF

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PressTV – New al-Quds project irks Palestinians.

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