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PA religious council head: Israel is excavating a “network of tunnels” under the Al-Aqsa Mosque “to the point that its foundations are liable to collapse,” and “continuous Ribat must be carried out” there

Headline: "Issa: An archive must be established that deals with the holy sites in order to tie them to the nation's memory"
       "Secretary-General of the [PA] Islamic-Christian Council for Jerusalem and the Holy Places Dr. Hanna Issa said… that the situation that Jerusalem is in is most difficult, and that the real dangers surrounding the sites holy to Islam and Christianity are changing the reality in the city. He noted that the occupation’s tyranny has not skipped the churches, as the churches - like the mosques – are being set on fire, destroyed, and desecrated, and racist slogans are being written on them… He explained that one of the blows by the Israeli occupation authorities against the holy sites is the excavation of a network of tunnels under the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, to the point that its foundations are liable to collapse at any moment… He added: 'Continuous Ribat (i.e., religious conflict/war over land claimed to be Islamic) must be carried out at the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, at the houses of prayer in it, and at its plazas, in order to rebuff every Israeli attack and defend it.’"

The PA and its leaders consider all of the Temple Mount an integral part of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Therefore they view any presence of Jews on the mount as an "attack." It should be noted that Jews who visit the Temple Mount only enter some sections of the open areas, and do not enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque or the Dome of the Rock.

The Israeli daily Haaretz has stated that the excavations do not reach beneath the mosque: "The diggers are painstaking to respect the dignity of the Temple Mount. Despite complaints from the Islamic Movement and Palestinian groups, not a single dig penetrates beneath the mount." [Haaretz, May 24, 2016]