Police forces boosted
Photo: Yoav Galai
Dig at Mugrabi Gate
Photo: Yoav Galai

Syria slams Jerusalem works

Damascus official says dig near al-Aqsa Mosque is 'an affront' to Muslims worldwide. Construction at Mugrabi Gate leading to Temple Mount continues Wednesday morning, while police tighten security, boost forces in area

Damascus condemned Wednesday the Israeli reinforcement and construction works near the Mugrabi Gate leading to the Temple Mount.


A Syrian Foreign Ministry official told the state-run news agency that, "Syria strongly condemns these violations, and considers them a blatant affront to Muslim waqfs and the feelings of Muslims worldwide."


The works at the Mugrabi Gate were renewed Wednesday morning.


The works spurred outrage among Muslims Tuesday due to the dig's proximity to the al-Aqsa Mosque, and provoked riots across the capital.


Eleven people were arrested for stone throwing and disruption of order Tuesday, but no casualties were reported in the clashes.


The Jerusalem District Police chief, Maj. Gen, Ilan Franco, held a meeting to discuss and evaluate the situation in the city Tuesday evening following the violent events.


It has been decided that forces stationed in east Jerusalem, the Old City and near the Temple Mount will be boosted.


It has also been decided that the age of Muslim worshippers allowed entrance to the al-Aqsa compound will be limited to 45, and on the condition they are carrying an Israeli ID. No restrictions will be placed on female worshippers.


The police will continue to ban the entrance of visitors to the place.


Jordan issued a harsh response to the Israeli works near the holy Muslim site Tuesday.


"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.


"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.


פרסום ראשון: 02.07.07, 10:22
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