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Foundation: Landslide risk in Silwan amid Israeli digs

March 4, 2012 2:28 P.M. (Updated: March 6, 2012 12:54 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- The Al-Aqsa Foundation said on Sunday it had gathered evidence showing that an East Jerusalem neighborhood risked landslides amid Israeli digging in the area.

A landslide northeast of the Ein Silwan Mosque has formed a crater next to the building, the Al-Aqsa Foundation for Waqf and Heritage said, providing images of the site.

Palestinian neighborhood Silwan lies south of the Haram al-Sharif (Noble Compound) housing the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock, and is the site of Israeli archeological work that has drawn sharp criticism from residents for destabilizing their homes.

Israel annexed East Jerusalem -- regarded as the capital of a future Palestinian state -- after a 1967 war, a move never recognized by the international community.

The Al-Aqsa Foundation said the images show a network of tunnels being dug under Silwan in several directions, which intend to connect the area to Jewish facilities around the Haram al-Sharif.

Jews revere the complex as the site of the Second Temple, and its 'Western Wall' is held as the most holy place in Judaism. Some on the far-right want to rebuild the temple over the Muslim holy site, increasing tensions over any work that could affect the sacred compound.

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