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More structural damage caused by Israeli excavations

February 27, 2014 at 11:34 pm

More land subsidence has occurred south of Al-Aqsa Mosque just a week after a similar collapse in the same place was attributed to Israeli excavations. The latest subsidence was found on Monday, 18th January in the early morning, on Wadi Hilwa Street in the Silwan neighbourhood.

According to the Jerusalem Centre for Social and Economic Rights (JCSER), Monday’s landslide was 3 metres wide and 4 metres deep. “The latest landslide is only one of a series of similar incidents that have taken place over the past twelve months,” claimed the Centre. “The most serious of them took place in a girls’ study centre, injuring 17 students.”

JCSER stressed the danger of the ongoing excavations having previously warned of the potential for structural damage to the buildings in the area, especially Al-Ein Mosque. The centre repeated its warning that more collapses in Silwan and Jerusalem’s Old City are expected; this is where Israel is digging a complicated network of tunnels, which have already led to the collapse of many buildings in the area.

The head of the Wadi Hilwa Information Centre, Jawad Siyam, said that the new collapse is about 10 metres deep. “It’s located only a few meters away from another slide that took place last week due to Israeli excavations,” he confirmed.

Recent heavy rains caused flooding in Al-Ein Mosque, a location where Israel has intensified its excavations. A child was injured when he fell near the latest landslide.

Israel has for many years been excavating near mosques and other historic Islamic buildings in an effort to “prove” the Hasmonean and Jewish heritage of the Holy City, without much success and with scant regard for the potential for damage to sites of historic and religious significance to the Palestinians.