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PA prime minister condemns US ambassador’s participation in archaeological excavations as “settlement activities in occupied Jerusalem”

Headline: "The [PA] government discussed a decision to establish a legal-financial team to monitor the theft of our money by Israel"

"[PA] Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh said: 'The attack against Jerusalem, the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Issawiya, Silwan, and Sur Baher is growing stronger. We welcome the position of our brave people in Jerusalem and the Jerusalem district, and demand to defend our Palestinian-Islamic-Christian heritage in the city and to stop its falsification.'

In his speech at the beginning of the weekly [PA] government meeting that was held yesterday [July 1, 2019] in Ramallah, Shtayyeh added: 'We condemn the arrest of [PA] Minister of Jerusalem Affairs [Adnan Al-Husseini], who deals with the affairs, problems, and needs of the residents of Jerusalem on a daily basis. We see this as a blow to the [PA] government's efforts in Jerusalem, but will continue to fulfill our obligation to the holy city [of Jerusalem], to take care of the daily affairs of its residents, and to improve their lives. This week we will transfer additional payments in order to assist the hospitals in Jerusalem.'

He continued: 'We condemn the settlement activities in occupied Jerusalem and the participation of American Ambassador [to Israel David] Friedman in one of these activities: the excavation of a tunnel under the town of Silwan (refers to the inauguration of the Pilgrimage Road archaeological site partly located under the Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan; see note below -Ed.). This behavior reflects this [American] administration's full support for the right-wing government of Israel, its settlement policy, and its violation of international agreements and law.'"

Pilgrimage Road – US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, US Envoy Jason Greenblatt, and US Senator Lindsey Graham took part in the inauguration ceremony of the Pilgrimage Road underground archaeological site, located south of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, on June 30, 2019. The excavated road was used by Jewish pilgrims visiting the Second Temple around the first century CE, and the Arab neighborhood of Silwan has since been built above it.

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