The Palestinian Foreign Ministry has called for forming an international commission to investigate Israeli excavations in the occupied city of East Jerusalem and beneath the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
In a statement on Saturday, the ministry warned that the Israeli diggings pose a major threat to Palestinian houses in the occupied city.
— Yeni Şafak English (@yenisafakEN) December 30, 2018
The ministry said:
“These excavations aim to cause cracks in Palestinian houses, with Israeli authorities ordering residents to leave these houses on the ground that they are not fit for living.”
The ministry went on to describe the Israeli eviction of Palestinians from their homes as a “large-scale, systematic ethnic cleansing”.
— GAZA MEDIA (@gazamedianet) December 30, 2018
There was no comment from Israeli authorities on the ministry’s statement.
Israel refuses to allow access to UNESCO to examine the holy sites in East Jerusalem.
In July 2017, the UNESCO executive board adopted a resolution that slammed “the failure of the Israeli occupying authorities to cease the persistent excavations, tunneling, works, projects and other illegal practices in East Jerusalem, particularly in and around the Old City of Jerusalem, which are illegal under international law”.
UPDATE: Israeli Digs Cause Landslides in Silwan.
Underground excavations executed in recent months, by Israeli authorities in the occupied Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, have caused landslides in the area, as it came under heavy rain during the past few days. pic.twitter.com/RK8YAojYPQ
— Palestine Live (@pallive_en) December 29, 2018
The resolution further stated that,
“Legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying power, which have altered – or purport to alter – the character and status of the holy city of Jerusalem… are null and void and must be rescinded forthwith”.
In 2016, UNESCO passed a resolution describing Jerusalem as an “occupied” city and Israel as an “occupying power”, which, under international law, has no sovereignty over the historic city.
UNESCO declares Israel's ongoing excavations & alterations to the Old City region of Jerusalem as illegal pic.twitter.com/G9EWVxJRYf
— Days of Palestine (@DaysofPalestine) July 5, 2017
The same resolution stated that Jerusalem’s Old City was “entirely Palestinian”, going on to emphasize its historical “Muslim and Christian” identity and heritage.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. In a move never recognized by the international community, it unilaterally annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming it as its “eternal and undivided” capital.
(MEMO, PC, Social Media)