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New Israeli excavation near Silwan tunnel in East Jerusalem
Published Sunday 12/01/2014 (updated) 14/01/2014 12:38
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JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli archaeological teams have recently started new excavations near the Silwan tunnel in East Jerusalem, the Al-Aqsa Foundation said in a statement on Sunday.

The foundation said that its teams had noticed surface and underground excavations near the tunnel, which runs from the Al-Aqsa Mosque to Silwan.

The excavations are the continuation of an Israeli project to build a biblical park in the area alongside the City of David archaeological park, the statement added.

The park will be built on 2200 square meters and will be connected with a network of tunnels Israeli authorities have been digging under parts of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, according to the statement.

In the past, tunnels have partially collapsed and caused holes to open up above them, threatening Palestinian homes, roads, and a local mosque.

Israel frequently permits excavations and archaeological digs in East Jerusalem, specifically around the Al-Aqsa mosque, that threaten the structural integrity of Palestinian homes and holy sites in the area.

In 1967, Israel demolished the 800-year-old Moroccan Quarter of Jerusalem, displacing 650 Palestinians and destroying numerous mosques, homes, and holy sites, in order to build a plaza in front of the Western Wall.

Israel also evicted around 6,000 Palestinians from nearby areas in order to massively expand the city's historical Jewish Quarter.

Israeli officials announced on Thursday that a new archaeological park would be constructed in Tel Rumeida, next to a Jewish settlement in the center of Hebron in the occupied West Bank.

The park is located on lands that were farmed by a Palestinian resident since 1949 as part of long term lease agreements with Jordanian and then Israeli authorities.

Critics charge that Israeli authorities often use archaeological digs to justify the displacement of Palestinian residents under the pretext of searching for ancient Jewish ruins.

The internationally recognized Palestinian territories of which the West Bank and East Jerusalem form a part have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.
1 ) They are looking for proof tha / the OLD TEMPLE
12/01/2014 16:33

2 ) Sarah / The Netherlands
12/01/2014 17:30
Lets all pray the tunnel collapse, Palestinians safe, the rats buried alive (like they killed Palestinians in the tunnels).

3 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
12/01/2014 17:32
More sensationalist misreporting that archeological digs means a 20 megaton bomb is being placed under Al Aqsa. This will provoke more hysterical Palestinian reactions, coupled with the rabid anti-semitic supporters of the hysterical Palestinians. More false "ethnic cleansing" and "Judaization", but Arab population continues to go up in E Jerusalem and more Moslems than every before will pray at Al Aqsa, and their excrement will drown the cry that Jew archeologists are destorying Al Aqsa. Fools.

4 ) Julie / USA
12/01/2014 18:09
i blame abbas for not seeking justice at the ICC, he's had more than enough time, more than enough egregious izraeli crimes, and more than enough support internationally...but still, he allows this kind of destruction along with all the other horrific izraeli crimes to continue. the PA needs to resign or be dissolved, the sooner the better.

5 ) Zoya / US
12/01/2014 19:18
The Zionist state of Israel is hell bent on bringing about it's destruction. The messiah turned over the tables the first time on his return he will put an end to Israel's barbarism.

6 ) Dig / Tunnel
12/01/2014 20:05
Jerusalem was a capital of only one state through the History - Israel. Jerusalem is a capital of only one state now -Israel. Jerusalem will always be a capital of only one state - Jerusalem. And of cause, Israelis can do whatever they want and wherever they want in their state capital of Jerusalem. including digging archeological tunnels.

7 ) Sarah / The Netherlands
12/01/2014 21:07
@5 Zoya I'm afraid the zionists will kill the Messiah at the cross-point.

8 ) Colin Wright / USA
12/01/2014 22:51
The worst of all this is that it's in aid of a pseudo-archeology where not only do they not find what they are looking for (because it isn't there) but they lie about what the significance of they do find to tourists eager to be lied to and invent a 'past' no respectable archeologist could possibly agree with. It's an exercise in deceit -- and deceit in support of a vicious purpose. It's all to support the theft of a land from the people it obviously belongs to.

9 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
13/01/2014 10:56
Colin - you're a psuedo-American. You admit you've never been here. You don't speak Arabic. You don't speak Hebrew. Yet you are an expert on what is happening on the ground here. You're a coward and a liar since you clearly cater to the Pallywood propaganda about the ancient Jewish temple being a Mcdonald's stand. By your logic, there never were American natives before 1492 - it's all in their imagination and American archeologists thus get no respect. They must be liars!

10 ) Carson / Canada
13/01/2014 20:00
The pro - Palestinians here are so incredibly hateful, it's just so unbelievable .

11 ) Colin Wright / USA
13/01/2014 22:10
To Brian Cohen #9: Your post is a tour de-force of illogic. (1) Not going to Palestine, etc apparently makes me a 'pseudo-American.' Real Americans speak Hebrew? (2) ' You're a coward and a liar since you clearly cater to the Pallywood propaganda about the ancient Jewish temple being a Mcdonald's stand.' Your logic here escapes me. How agreeing that in this case an absence of evidence could well be taken to be evidence of absence could constitute 'cowardice' and 'lying' escapes me.

12 ) Outlier / USA
14/01/2014 05:33
Why do we never hear about Palestinian archeology?

13 ) ian / australia
15/01/2014 21:30
#3 "More sensationalist misreporting that archeological digs means a 20 megaton bomb is being placed under Al Aqsa." I agree, Brian, phrases like "tunnels...under parts of the Al-Aqsa Mosque" are unclear and alarmist. The Silwan tunnel, as I understand it, is an archeological dig (not an ancient construction like Hezekiah's tunnel or the Kotel tunnels) which has uncovered a Herodian (Roman) street. It's certainly not UNDER the Qibly mosque (also called al-Aqsa) threatening its foundations

14 ) ian / australia
15/01/2014 21:31
(contd.) or indeed UNDER any of the Aqsa, in the sense of the whole Bayt al-Maqdis compound. It runs from the Pool of Siloam to the plaza and may funnel tourists to Ir David and the new "biblical park" (!) BUT, it's IN Silwan, OCCUPIED Palestine, NOT Israel...the whole City of David fantasy complex...and Israel has NO right to dig up or build anything. It's clear "Judaization" of a Palestinian neighborhood under the guise of "history". Credible archeologists have called the

15 ) ian / australia
15/01/2014 21:32
(contd.) Large Stone Structure undateable due to contamination of the site and in all likelihood, a conglomerate of buildings from the 8th and 9th centuries BC. Only to biblical "maximalists", cynical propagandists, zealots and fabulists is it the lost Palace of King David. Israelis may feign awe at the "discovery" (read: invention) of the palace of the King but clearly what really gets them hot is new ingenious ways to dress up the THEFT of Arab land and the crushing of Palestinian aspirations.

16 ) ian / australia
15/01/2014 21:33
#12 "Why do we never hear about Palestinian archeology?" Too easy, Outlier. It IS Palestinian archeology: the excavation of ancient Palestine. It's just being carried out, fraudulently, by Israeli zealots (spade in one hand and The Bible in the other) who INTERPRET archeological finds (like the bogus City of David) to support the Israeli agenda.

17 ) ian / australia
15/01/2014 21:33
#9 "...the Pallywood propaganda about the ancient Jewish temple being a Mcdonald's stand." Ho ho. Absurdist humour. I get it, Brian. But what are you ridiculing? There's a perfectly valid archeological debate about the First Temple, as you'd expect...and as there's no physical or documentary trace or the least mention of a magnificent edifice bedecked in gold in what was the Egyptian Empire (!)...it's not looking good for Solomon (or David, for that matter). (Common sense would suggest a modest

18 ) ian / australia
15/01/2014 21:34
(contd.) Bronze Age shrine, a high place, on Mount Moriah to the newly created Canaanite deity Yahweh...replacing earlier shrines to El or Baal or Asherah, receding into prehistory. It's that kind of place, as you know, with the twinkly lights of al-Bustan disappearing down the valley at dusk, which of course weren't there then, but you know what I mean.)

19 ) Mark / USA
13/04/2014 11:35
I truly wish Americans (and other Westernized nations) were les ignorant of matters in the Middle East. Israel has more legitimacy from an historical perspective than anyone else in the region, religion aside. I must say, the unfortunate fact of life is 1) It is Biblical that Israel would be unpopular (to keep it mild) and 2) Most Americans have no idea what goes on outside of their own superficial spheres, let alone any weighty international or academic concerns

20 ) Jim / Canada
26/10/2014 00:45
You all sound so absolutely hateful to each other in your comments. How will a peaceful resolution ever be found?
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