A member of the Al-Aqsa Mosque Reconstruction Committee has rejected Israeli plans to Judaise Islamic holy sites in the occupied city of Jerusalem.
"Israel is trying to impose its spatial and legal control over Al-Aqsa Mosque, while continuing to prevent the restoration of its interior," said Bassam Al-Hallaq, the organisation's project director.
In an interview with Quds Press, Al-Hallaq said that the Israeli projects in Al-Aqsa aims to "falsify history".
Remarking on Israeli reports which revealed that Israeli archaeologists were sifting soil from Al- Aqsa in search for "artefacts from the time of the Temple", the official said the "claims are unfounded; the ruins and the remnants of restoration, which took place during the renovation of the Marwani prayer area 15 years ago, remain inside the Al-Aqsa courtyards and the Israeli occupation refuses to take it out."
The committee stressed its right to conduct renovation works inside the mosque.
Israel Hayom newspaper reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had said that soil which had been removed from Al-Aqsa's courtyard would be searched for "artefacts from the time of the Temple".
On 26 October 2016, UNESCO's Heritage Committee ratified a resolution condemning Israeli violations on archaeological and Islamic sites in the occupied city of Jerusalem.