On Tuesday Malaysia, a large Islamic country, called the UN Security Council to intervene to halt the Israeli authorities’ construction works at the Al-Aqsa mosque of east Jerusalem, which is considered the third holiest Islamic shrine.
Malaysian Prime Minister, Abdullah Badawi, stated to the Malaysian News Agency that he has affirmed to the permanent members of the Security Council as well as the UN Secretary General, Pan Ki-Moon that halting Israeli construction works around the Al-Aqsa mosque is ‘necessary’.

Badawi also called the Israeli digging ‘irresponsible’, hoping the upcoming Security Council session will address the issue profoundly to pressure the Israeli government to stop its works there.

The Malaysian PM added that he would send out relevant letters to Arab leaders and member states of the Organization of Islamic Conference, asking the latter to exert pressure on Israel for the halt of its construction works.

Several countries and organizations have criticized the Israeli digging around the Al-Aqsa mosque, believing such works would fuel further tension in the region and obstruct peaceful efforts.

The Al-Aqsa mosque has been one of the main ‘flashpoints’ of Palestinian-Israeli violence. In 1996 80 Palestinians were killed when Israel opened a tunnel, while the current Palestinian uprising was sparked in 2000 after the then Israeli opposition leader, Ariel Sharon paid a provocative visit to the mosque’s compound.