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Israel begins work on new tunnels to storm Al Aqsa Mosque

The Al Aqsa Foundation for Endowments and Heritage revealed that the Israeli occupation authorities began excavation works at Al Sharaf alley, tens of meters west of the Al Aqsa Mosque, in preparation for the construction of two tunnels and two electric elevators to connect between the alley, which was confiscated by the Israeli authorities in 1967, and the Al Buraq area and Al Maghariba Gate of the mosque.

The Foundation said that the aim of digging these tunnels and building the elevators is to "deliver a greater number of Jewish settlers to the Western Wall and the doors of Al-Aqsa Mosque, especially the Al Maghariba Gate, through which foreign tourists and Jewish groups can storm into the Al Aqsa Mosque."

The Foundation considered this to be "a judaization project through which Israel seeks to Judaize the Al Aqsa Mosque."

It added that, during a tour it conducted Tuesday, November 17, it found works of deep excavations, by the so-called Israeli Antiquities Authority, in the Al Sharaf alley tens of meters west of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. During these excavation works, historical and archaeological monuments, dating back to Ottoman and Mumluke eras, were being destroyed and obliterated.

The Al Aqsa Foundation for Endowments and Heritage had revealed in a media report on March 3, 2009 the intention of the occupation authorities and its executive arms to dig two new tunnels, one of them 56 meters long and the other 22 meters, in order to link the Palestinian Al Sharaf Alley, in the Old City, to Jerusalem.

It also revealed the Israeli authorities' intention to install an electric elevator in the vertical tunnel and electric corridor in the horizontal tunnel. The location of these two tunnels is to be the meeting point of several archaeological sites, through which Israel "is trying to develop an illusionary Hebrew history."

It explained that this Judaizational project would cost 10 million shekels (about U.S. $ 2.5 million), and will be implemented in collaboration between the occupation's municipality of Jerusalem, the so-called the Jewish Quarter Preservation and Development Company, the Monuments Authority, and the National Insurance Institute. The project will be funded through donations from Baruch Klein.

Al Sharaf Alley is an Islamic area located inside the boundaries of the Old City with an area of more than 133 square meters. It was occupied by Israel in 1967. It is the closest neighborhood to the Moroccan (Al Maghariba) district, which was destroyed by the Occupation authorities on 11/6/1967, after the fall of Al Sharaf Alley. Thousands of Palestinians were expelled from it, their houses, lands, and real estate properties were confiscated; then, private Israeli companies were immediately established. These companies seized the homes, real estate properties and lands of the area and housed the Jewish settlers and built new homes. They changed its name into the Jewish Quarter – and only a handful of Palestinians were left in it, in addition to two mosques – one of them is closed and the other is open only for Dhur (noon) and Asr (mid-afternoon) prayers, with the Azan (call to prayer) being banned.

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