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Official PA TV reports on incident of rock falling out of Western Wall, blaming Israel’s excavations

Official PA TV, report on PA government meeting in Ramallah

Official PA TV reporter: “The [PA] government condemned the recurring Israeli invasions of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, explaining that the international community’s continued silence is encouraging the occupation to continue the aggression against our unarmed people, while pointing out that the ongoing attacks against the Al-Aqsa Mosque have reached their peak in the shadow of the comprehensive Israeli escalation against our people in different areas."

PA Government Spokesman Yusuf Al-Mahmoud:
"There are severe dangers facing Jerusalem today, and primarily the holy sites and the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, and particularly the invasions of the gangs of settlers. In addition to this is what happened yesterday [July 23, 2018] – a rock falling from the southwestern wall of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque (i.e., the Western Wall of the Temple Mount) – which [Israel] related to as no more than a rock falling. But the [PA] government views this matter very seriously, because the falling of this rock indicates the extent and expansion of the excavations, which the Israeli occupation authorities are conducting under the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque (Israel does not excavate under the Temple Mount; see note below –Ed.)."

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 “invasion.” 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: "Despite complaints from the Islamic Movement and Palestinian groups, not a single dig penetrates beneath the mount." [Haaretz, May 24, 2016]