Foundation: Israel continues demolition of Mughrabi Gate

Maan News Agency | July 27, 2012

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities are continuing to demolish the Mughrabi gate of the compound housing the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowments and Heritage said Thursday.

The foundation said in a statement that Israel’s excavations at the site had been conducted secretly but were now being carried out publicly.

The group has been monitoring the gate, and says dozens of workers have been demolishing earth and stones at the site.

Workers are also digging up earth around the gate where the foundation says Israeli authorities plan to build a synagogue for women. Under the Mughrabi gate there is another passage, the Prophet gate, which leads to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the foundation added.

The group called on Islamic, regional and Palestinian leaders to intervene, adding that Israel was resuming demolitions in the area despite a decision to suspend work.

The compound, the Haram al-Sharif, is in the old walled city of Jerusalem, which Israel captured along with the West Bank in a 1967 war and annexed in a step not recognized by the international community.

For Muslims the Dome of the Rock inside the compound marks the spot from which Prophet Muhammad made his night journey to heaven. The Haram al-Sharif is the third holiest site in Islam.

Jews revere the compound as the site of their Biblical Temple. Surviving foundations of its Western Wall are now a focus of prayer.

Any construction or interference at the site can be politically explosive.

On September 28, 2000, Ariel Sharon visited the Al-Aqsa compound surrounded by a 1,000-strong security force. The move is widely believed to have contributed to the beginning of the second intifada, or uprising, against Israeli military occupation.


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