VIDEO - "Israeli excavation works near the al-Aqsa mosque in the holy city of Jerusalem have led to a dangerous rise in Middle East tensions and could derail revival of Arab-Israeli peace talks," Jordan's King Abdullah said on Tuesday. "What Israel is doing in its practices and attacks against our sacred Muslim sites in Jerusalem and al-Aqsa is a blatant violation that is not acceptable under any pretext," the monarch was quoted by the state news agency Petra as saying. "These measures will only create an atmosphere that will not at all help in the success of efforts being undertaken to restore the peace process," the monarch said. Israeli excavation work on Tuesday near an entrance to a compound in Jerusalem that houses the al-Aqsa mosque drew Palestinian protests and Israeli assurances the dig would not harm Islam's third holiest shrine. Dangerous escalation "This is a dangerous escalation we have seen in the last few hours ... These works and excavations pose a threat to the foundations of al-Aqsa (al-Sherif)," the monarch said. The Hashemite ruling family of Jordan, which traces its lineage back to the Prophet Mohammad, has acted as custodian of the Muslim shrines of Jerusalem since the British mandate of Palestine in the early 20th century. The family kept this role in the divided holy city even after Jordan lost East Jerusalem and the West Bank to Israel in a 1967 war. Israel's opening of an entrance to an archaeological tunnel near Haram al-Sharif in 1996 touched off violent Palestinian protests and led to clashes in which 61 Arabs and 15 Israeli soldiers were killed. A Palestinian uprising erupted in 2000 after then-opposition leader Ariel Sharon toured the compound. Israel annexed East Jerusalem after the 1967 conflict in a step that has not been recognised internationally. Palestinians want the eastern part of the city as the capital of a future state.