Report: Israeli excavations threaten al-Aqsa mosque
Israeli archaeological excavations are directly threatening al-Aqsa mosque, according to a report released by al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowments and Heritage, a Palestinian NGO.
Earthworks have been taking place over the past ten years under Ablution Gate (Bab al-Matahara), just 20 yards from the western border of the mosque, according to the report.
The NGO also said on Sunday that the Israeli government was preparing to open the excavations to the public, and has finalised work on the main entrance.
Al-Aqsa is the third holiest site for Muslims. Israelis call the area the Temple Mount, in the belief it is the site of the two ancient Jewish temples - the second of which was destroyed during the Roman era.
The foundation further said all archaeological finds on the site had been Islamic, including archways and vaults from the Mamluk era (1250-1517). Israel, however, is planning to conceal the truth about these monuments, it argues.
This article is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.