Israel has accelerated its digging and destruction around the Al-Magharbeh Gates, which is an essential part of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Al-Aqsa Foundation for Islamic Endowments and Heritage said in a statement on Thursday.
“Dozens of workers are working on a daily basis to clear the underground ways connecting Israeli synagogues with the Al-Buraq Wall which Israelis refer to as the ‘Wailing or Western Wall.’
Previously, Israeli sources disclosed a proposal to expand the space in the area specified for the Jewish prayer and it was adopted by the chairman of the Jewish Agency, Natan Sharansky. The plan is dubbed the ‘Sharansky Proposal.’
According to the Israeli newspaper, the Jerusalem Post, the proposal was devised in cooperation with MK, Aliza Lavie, (Yesh Atid) and Deputy Religious Services Minister, Eli Ben-Dahan, among others. It involves the expansion of the current Western Wall Plaza to comprise an area from the northern end of the Western Wall site down to the southern end of the wall by Robinson’s Arch.
Robinson’s Arch is an area designated for non-Orthodox prayer in 2003 by the Israeli Supreme Court.
The Al-Aqsa Foundation noted that the ‘Sharansky Proposal’ is a part of a plan to completely judaise the whole area, including Al-Magharbeh Gate and Al-Buraq Wall. “Both these places form part of the Islamic heritage in the area,” the foundation said. “The Israelis gained control of them through occupation.”
Regarding whether the Israeli occupation can own them in time, the Foundation said: “Both places are Islamic and were forcefully usurped by the Israeli occupation, which has been destroying and judaising them over time. However, their Islamic identity cannot be changed with time.”
The Foundation said that it recently monitored accelerated digging and destruction around the Al-Magharbeh Gate. They have also monitored construction works on top of the Gate and on both sides of it, as well as beneath it.
“We believe that they are carrying out the judaisation plan,” the Foundation said.
The deputy head of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Sheikh Kamal al-Khatib, criticised Israeli activities in the area. He told MEMO that the Israeli occupation is “seizing the opportunity to judaise the area amidst Arab, Islamic and Palestinian instability.”
“Of course, the world does not care about it,” he added.
He also told MEMO that the current Israeli expansion in the area the Jews use to pray “includes all the remaining area left for the Muslims and it touches Al-Buraq Mosque directly.”