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MK Orlev
Photo: Niv Calderon
Waqf boycotts Knesset committee
Head of Muslim body in charge of Temple Mount refuses to attend Knesset committee meeting on excavations at site. 'We don't recognize Israel's sovereignty in Jerusalem,' he explains

The Knesset State Control Committee decided Monday to ask the state comptroller to compile a report on the archeological digs carried out by the Muslim Waqf at the Temple Mount.

 

The decision came after a representative of the Muslim administrative body in charge of the holy site refused to attend the committee's meeting, stating that he did not recognize Israel's sovereignty at the Temple Mount or the Knesset's authority to make decisions on the matter.

 

Committee chairman MK Zevulun Orlev explained that the committee convened to discuss the alleged destruction of relics and other damages caused by the Waqf's digs. "We cannot ignore the fact that the Waqf does not recognize the Knesset and its committees. Its members are carrying out excavations at the Temple Mount, which is a very sensitive, special site," he explained.

 

The Waqf's director-general Adnan al-Husseini said his decision to shun the committee's invitation was dictated by the Waqf's year-long policy. "The Waqf does not acknowledge Israel's authority in Jerusalem or the Temple Mount…the Waqf boycotts Israeli politicians all the time."

 

Al-Husseini stressed that he did not intend to attend any formal meeting on the issue of the Temple Mount dig. "This is an Islamic issue that the Muslims should decide upon."

 

Roee Nahmias contributed to the report

 

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