BBC: Israel ‘must halt’ Jerusalem dig
Posted by uscsjp on March 17, 2007
Israel denies the excavations threaten the al-Aqsa mosque
A UN report is calling for an immediate halt to work by the Israeli authorities at a Jerusalem site holy to both Muslims and Jews.
Excavation works close to the Haram al-Sharif/the Temple Mount compound have sparked angry Muslim protests.
The report published today says Israel must draw up a new work plan for the contested site.
It also calls for consultation between Israel, the Muslim authorities and Jordan over the excavation works.
The report by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) also says Israeli excavations comply with “professional” standards.
The Israeli authorities say the dig is meant to salvage archaeological remains ahead of the construction of a new pedestrian walkway to the religious compound located in East Jerusalem.
But the report says that the excavations should be limited to the stability of the structure needed for the consolidation work.
It claims that such information is now available and the excavations should be stopped.
Palestinian critics and Muslim figures internationally say the work could damage the mosque foundations…
Israel occupied East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war, a move not recognised internationally. (emphasis added)