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Israeli committee approves huge synagogue near Al-Aqsa Mosque

A Palestinian Islamic foundation concerned with protecting the sacred sites in Jerusalem revealed on Monday that an Israeli committee has approved a scheme to build a huge synagogue in the heart of Jerusalem’s Old City, only 200 meters away from Al-Aqsa Mosque.

A statement issued by Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage said that a sub-committee of the District Committee for Planning and Building in Jerusalem, which is affiliated with the Israeli Ministry of Interior, approved during a meeting that took place on Sunday, 30 March 2014 the establishment of a very large synagogue called the Jewel of Israel in the heart of the Old City of Jerusalem.

The synagogue, which will be located only 200 meters to the west of Al-Aqsa Mosque, will consist of four floors, topped by a vaulted dome in addition to an underground space.

According to the foundation’s statement, “So far, the Israeli occupation has built about 100 synagogues and Jewish schools in the Old City of Jerusalem and its surroundings, where each Jewish religious school has its own synagogue.”

Furthermore, the foundation added that in recent years the Israeli authorities have already built two large synagogues in the Old City; one called Ruin Synagogue, built on the ruins of a mosque in Al-Sharaf neighbourhood, and the second called Beit Yitzhak Synagogue, built on Waqf land, about 50 meters west of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The Israeli authorities’ decision to construct yet another large synagogue in East Jerusalem accelerates the occupation’s Judaisation project in the holy city.

The foundation pointed out that: “The occupation plans to Judaise the entire Old City over the next twenty years, so that it will become completely Jewish.”

However, the foundation also emphasised that “the resilience and stability of the people of Jerusalem will lead to the failure of the occupation’s schemes.”

Although the foundation did not mention when the Israeli committee will start the construction of the synagogue in question, the Jewish religious establishment often speeds up the implementation of Israeli settlement schemes in occupied Jerusalem.

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