The Islamic Movement in Israel, headed by member of Knesset Ibrahim Sarsour, said on Sunday that Israel is still digging and carrying out excavations under the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, which is threatening the foundations of the mosque.Israeli online daily, Haaretz, reported that Sarsour said that Israel paid a Palestinian vendor $60,000 for his store bordering with the Temple Mount compound on which the mosque is located. Israel denied the report.
Northern branch leader of the Islamic Movement, Sheikh Ra’ed Salah, said that the digging comes “to fulfill Israel’s darkest dream of building a Jewish temple in place of the Al Aqsa mosque”.
Haaretz added that several leaders of the movement said that they will present information about any upcoming digging that Israel intends to carry out under the mosque.
“Excavations referred to by Sarsour were carried out some 100 meters from the Temple Mount and were stopped due to lack of funds”, Haaretz reported, “The excavations, carried out by the Israel Antiquities Authority at the behest of a Jewish group on property owned by businessman Aaron Mosovitch, was first revealed by Haaretz about a year ago”.
Israeli archeologists repeatedly claimed that the excavations are horizontal and vertical, and that they advanced to within 60 meters of the mosque.
The archeologists, Haaretz reported, claimed the purpose of the dig was to clear out an old garbage-filled tunnel to determine whether it posed a safety hazard.
Since Israel occupied the East of Jerusalem after the war in 1967, it has carried out several excavations that were deemed dangerous or harmful to the foundations of the Al Aqsa Mosque; the digging included a tunnel under the mosque and excavations close to its foundations.