[ 10/09/2011 – 07:55 AM ]
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Palestinian officials in Jerusalem warned that Israeli occupation authorities could be planning to divide Al-Aqsa Mosque and use a portion of the Muslim holy site for Jews.
In a joint statement released on Wednesday, the officials warned of the possibility that Israel would take a major step in the near future to provoke the sentiments of the Palestinians and all Muslims in general.
A similar step was taken with the Ibrahimi Mosque in Al-Khalil, known by Jews as the Cave of Patriarchs. On February 21, 2010, Israel announced that it would include the site in a national heritage protection plan.
The statement also reiterates warnings against an “unprecedented” escalation of Jewish settlement in Jerusalem and its environs within the coming days, noting the marked rise in calls by Jews to carry out daily raids on Al-Aqsa Mosque and to demolish the mosque and lay down the first stone of the alleged Solomon’s Temple to mark the Sukkoth (Feast of Tabernacles) in October this year.
Recently, Israeli media sources revealed new excavations being made under the foundations of the A-Aqsa Mosque in the framework of a project to support what Jews call the Solomon’s Temple theory.
Al-Aqsa Foundation in Jerusalem warned against new alleged findings published by the Israeli Yisrael Hayum newspaper on 2 September, saying that Israel had previously kept such excavations a secret and normally would not announce them until they were finished. It said that the report signals that there is more serious excavation works which Israel has yet to reveal.
According to the report, the IOA has finished digging a 600-meter stretch of tunnels that originate in the Ain Silwan (Pool of Sioam) area and reach all the way to the southwestern corner of Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Al-Aqsa Foundation considered the excavations a threat to the mosque as they they had taken place under the mosque premises.
The report also said that the site would be open to the public once safety measures were taken in the next few weeks.
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