Israeli Defense Minister, Amir Perets, called Thursday his Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert to reconsider digging by Israeli bulldozers around the Al-Aqsa mosque in the occupied east Jerusalem.
Perets expressed concern that the action in Jerusalem would help spark confrontation and lead to deterioration of security in the region, Harartz Israeli Daily published.
According to Haraetz, Hebrew Edition, pointed out that Perets sent out a letter to Olmert, based on recommendations by the head of the security-political committee of the Israeli Defense Army, Amos Gilad, warning of keeping up digging in the Bab Almagharba gate near the Al-Aqsa mosque.
Gilad’s letter read that the digging and construction works are greatly harming Israel’s image at a time Israel is trying to take steps that would cerate an atmosphere of calm for the best of Israel’s relations with the Palestinians and the Arab world, the Israeli newspaper maintained.
Gila’d voiced concern that digging around the Al-Aqsa mosque would help inflame the Arab and Islamic streets.
The Israeli authorities in the occupied east Jerusalem have recently started construction works in the vicinity of the Al-Aqsa mosque, instigating protests at the local and international levels.
Al-Aqsa mosque, considered the third holiest site for Muslims worldwide, has always been one of the main reasons behind tension in the region. This was reinforced in 2000 when former Israeli PM, Ariel Sharon, paid a provocative visit, thus sparking a 7-year long second Palestinian uprising.