< HOME  Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Aqsa Foundation: New collapse in mosque
caused by underground digging

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- The Aqsa Foundation for Endowments and Heritage reported two days ago a collapse in the ground of the Aqsa Mosque revealing a hole of unknown depth near the tree that fell in the mosque area a week back.

The foundation in a statement it released Sunday called for an investigation into the recurring incidents of collapse around the Aqsa Mosque and the cause of cracks which have appeared in the mosque and adjacent structures.

“All evidence shows the existence of holes dug by the Israeli occupation below and around the Aqsa Mosque.”

The foundation documented the incident in photos and video on Saturday, but delayed publishing to conduct further testing and ascertain data.

A team visited the mosque Saturday for an additional ground inspection on the site of the old tree that fell last week when inspectors noticed six meters away from the tree a cavity covered with newspapers on top a number of short branch remains appearing to be remnants of the fallen tree. Beneath it was a suspicious concrete stone that lay slanted.

Investigators found near the site a 50 sq. cm wide hole, but they were unable to identify how deep the hole actually was.

The inspection team proposed that recurred incidents of collapse and decay in the mosque suggested that Israeli forces have been digging below the holy site.

Within the past two years the foundation discovered collapses in the floor of the Aqsa Mosque, a massive tree which fell near the Qattanein Gate, cracks on the buildings near the tree, holes dug up by Israeli planners below the Mutahhara area located on the western border of the mosque, cracks in the Marwani building, cracks in the building above a gate in the northern part of the mosque, and excavations in the western and southern parts of the mosque.

israel to start building fence along Egyptian borders in two weeks

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- Israel announced that building the fence along the borders with Egypt would start within two weeks with the aim of barring "infiltration into Israel".

Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu said that the construction of the fence was a national duty to preserve "Israel's security".

Netanyahu was speaking on Sunday during an official memorial service commemorating the 37th anniversary of former premier David Ben Gurion's death.

US 'offering new incentives to israel'

The United States has offered a new package of incentives to Israel to persuade Tel Aviv to extend a partial freeze on settlement activities for a short time, an Israeli source says.
US President Barack Obama's administration is seeking to deliver extra 20 warplanes, worth three billion dollars, the unnamed source said late on Saturday.

The White House also agreed to veto any move in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) designed to pressure Tel Aviv over the settlement issue, AFP reported.

The Israeli source made the remarks after acting Palestinian Authority (PA) Chief Mahmoud Abbas called for an urgent UNSC meeting on Israeli settlement projects.

Tel Aviv would also consider a US proposition for extending the settlement freeze just in the occupied West Bank and not East al-Quds (Jerusalem) for 90 days, according to the source.

The US-sponsored talks between Israel and the PA began in early September after a 20-month break, but ended with no conclusion over the Israeli settlement issue.

The stalemate came after Tel Aviv refused to extend its partial 10-month moratorium on the settlement projects, which ended in late September.

Abbas reiterated that he would not negotiate with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu while Israel continued to build housing units for Israeli settlers on the occupied Palestinian territories.



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