Israel Begins Renovation Near Holy Site

Israel is attempting to destroy Haraam ash-Shareef. Muslim brothers, unite in this face of atrocity!

Police took up positions throughout Jerusalem’s Old City on Tuesday as Israeli archaeologists began digging near a site holy to both Jews and Muslims amid protests and threats from Palestinians.

The Israel Antiquities Authority said the work poses no danger to the holy site. Palestinians fear Israel will damage it and have warned the work would inflame tensions.

Palestinians clashed with Israeli forces in several areas of Jerusalem and the West Bank, though no injuries were reported. Palestinian leaders harshly condemned the project.

“What is happening is an aggression,” Mohammed Hussein, the mufti of Jerusalem, told the Gaza Strip radio station of the Hamas militant movement. “We call on the Palestinian people to unite and unify the efforts to protect Jerusalem.”

The dig is just outside one of the most sensitive places in the Mideast conflict — the hilltop in the heart of Jerusalem that is known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary. The site often has been the catalyst of Israeli-Palestinian fighting.

Israel plans to build a new pedestrian ramp to the complex and says it wants to ensure the renovation work does not come at the expense of important artifacts. Such exploratory digs are common practice in the ancient city.

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