MP Zahalka: Olmert’s government nixed recommendations to avoid harming Aqsa gate

Nazareth – The Arab Knesset (Israeli parliament) member Jamal Zahalka has revealed that the Israeli government of premier Ehud Olmert had rejected recommendations tabled by more that 30 archeologists across the world to avoid harming the Magharba gate.

Olmert’s government also shrugged off the UNESCO extreme objection to the diggings, the MP added, explaining that the Israeli occupation government informed the international organization that it aims to install a bridge wide enough to allow IOF troops, tanks, and bulldozers access into the Mosque.

“This will pose a serious threat to the Aqsa Mosque on the part of IOF troops and fanatic Jewish groups”, Zahalka pointed out during an interview with the Quds Press news agency.

Israeli archeologist Meir Ben-Dov was quoted by the Hebrew radio a couple of days ago as branding the ongoing IOA excavations at the Aqsa Mosque as “illegal and unnecessary”.

He acknowledged that he had repeatedly warned the IOA not to carry out the excavations; yet, he added, all the warnings fell on deaf ears.

Since Jerusalem fell under Israeli occupation in 1967, a number of fanatic Jewish groups sanctioned by the Israeli occupation governments attempted to destroy the Mosque and build the alleged third Temple, yet, vigilant Palestinian citizens thwarted all those attempts and preserved the Mosque’s Arab and Muslim identity.

For its part, the PA information ministry condemned the “bloody” IOF troops’ quelling of Palestinian worshippers inside the Aqsa Mosque, warning that Israeli practices against the Mosque could spur new waves of violence and put the world’s stability at risk.

In this regard, the ministry appealed to Arab and Muslim leaders to immediately act to spare the Aqsa any possible harm.

It also urged Arab and Muslim worlds to break the one-year-old US-led economic blockade on the Palestinian people, and to rally behind Palestinians’ legal rights and accord them the honorable life they deserve.

In this context, the ministry hailed the Fatah-Hamas agreement in Makkah, and described it as a new page in the Palestinian people’s history that will lead to stronger Palestinian national unity in confronting the Israeli occupation.

In a related matter, the IOF troops in Bethlehem city rounded up more than 20 Palestinian students over the past 24 hours for participating in demonstrations condemning the IOA destruction works at the Aqsa walls.

Sources in the nearby Beit Jala hospital affirmed that one of the arrested students was severely beaten at the hands of the IOF troops, inflicting wounds and bruises on different parts of his body.

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