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Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque is in danger of collapsing due to Israeli excavation work

By Neelam Rahim

Officials at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem have raised deep concerns over Israeli excavation work at the holy site, which they claim has caused cracks and other damage to the building’s structure.

And Azzam Al-Khatib, director-general of the city’s Islamic Awqaf and Al-Aqsa Mosque Affairs department, has warned that the mosque might be in peril of collapse if the digging continued intensity.

The Israelis are closing excavations beneath Islam’s third-holiest site for a variety of weeks which officials say has led to cracks appearing and stones being dislodged from walls and ceilings.

Al-Khatib said: “There are dangerous and unknown excavations, and nobody knows what they’re and their goals. We see the removal of vast dust and listen to the sounds of digging equipment and, therefore, the breaking of stones.

“The vibrations led to the autumn of several stones from the mosque’s ceilings within the southern prayer halls.

“I asked the Israeli police to permit specialized engineers and technicians from our department to seek out out what’s happening and what’s happening, and for per week we’ve got been reprimand the Israeli police about these excavations, which are going down day and night, and that they just ignore our request,” he added.

Al-Khatib noted that similar activities had occurred, but digging work had been stepped up in recent weeks.

“We are concerned about the tunnels being dug which will result in the collapse of the Al-Aqsa. So, we informed the Jordanian Royal Court, the Jordanian Ministry of the Islamic Awqaf, the Jordanian ambassador, and most significantly, we appealed to (Jordan’s) King Abdullah, custodian of the holy sites, to intervene during this issue.”

“The Islamic Awqaf doesn’t want friction but is deeply concerned about surprises for Al-Aqsa and stability within the region,” he said, adding, “I asked the Israeli police to permit us to repair the wall from which stones came off, and which could be at risk of collapsing, but they refused.”

“Neither the Waqf, nor UNESCO (the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) knows what’s happening. We are entrusted with Al-Aqsa and winding up our mission. What’s happening could be a dangerous matter that worries and frightens us,” Al-Khatib added.

Technical sources within the Islamic Awqaf told Arab News that a committee of engineers and experts affiliated with the department had been founded to investigate what was happening and report back to officials.


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