King Abdullah of Jordan stated on Tuesday that the Israeli digging near the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem is considered an Israeli attack against one of the sacred Muslim holy sites, and could disrupt the Arab-Israeli peace talks.King Abdullah stated that the digging is a serious attack against sacred Muslim sites in the Holy City. ‘This is a blatant violation’, King Abdullah said ‘It cannot be accepted under any pretext’.

King Abdullah also said that these excavations pose a threat to the foundations of the Al Aqsa Mosque. He added that these excavations are a threat to the whole peace process in the Middle East.

In 1996, severe clashes took place between the Palestinians and the Israeli army when Israel dug ‘an archaeological tunnel’ near the Al Aqsa Mosque. 61 Palestinians and 15 Israelis, mainly soldiers, were killed.

In 2000, the current uprising, the ‘Al Aqsa Intifada’, erupted after the then-Israeli opposition leader, Ariel Sharon, visited the mosque along with his armed bodyguards.

Al Aqsa Mosque is in the Old City of Jerusalem which was illegally annexed by Israel after the 1967 war.

Eleven Palestinian youth were taken prisoner and several residents were injured during clashes that took place in Jerusalem on Tuesday as hundreds of residents took to the streets in the Holy City to protest against the Israeli excavations near the Mosque.