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Israel suspends construction at holy site, digs to continue

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Israel suspends construction at holy site, digs to continue


Israel is suspending the construction of a footbridge at the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem pending public discussions.

Archaeological excavation work, however, will continue at the site.

Jerusalem’s mayor said he took the decision to address the concerns of Muslim leaders.

Ahmed Tibi, an Arab-Israeli member of the Israeli parliament, wants all activity to stop. He said: “It is a volatile area, a volatile place. It was proven in the past that any activity, Israeli activity would be accepted as a provocation and it is hurting the whole Islamic world’s feelings.”

Members of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, have debated the controversial issue. Right-wing MP Benny Elon said he opposes the mayor’s decision and wants construction to go ahead.

“Okay, I stop. Because I am afraid it is the beginning of the end. And I hope that others will rectify and will correct this wrong action of the mayor of Jerusalem,” he said.

Meanwhile, Palestinian protesters and Israeli troops clashed in Hebron in the West Bank during a demonstration over the continued excavation work near Islam’s third holiest shrine.

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