Al-Aqsa Mosque officials in Jerusalem have expressed grave alarm over Israeli excavation activities at the sacred site, which they believe has resulted in cracks and other structural damage to the building.
The mosque may collapse if the current level of excavating is maintained, according to Azzam Al-Khatib, director general of the city’s Islamic Awqaf and Al-Aqsa Mosque Affairs department.
The third-holiest place in Islam has been the subject of Israeli excavations for a number of weeks, which, according to officials, has caused fissures to develop and stones to fall from walls and ceilings.
There are perilous and secret excavations going on, and nobody knows what they’re for or what their objectives are, according to Al-Khatib. We observe the removal of significant amounts of dust and hear the noises of digging tools and stone breaking.
“Several stones from the southern prayer halls’ mosque ceilings fell as a result of the vibrations.
We’ve been talking to the Israeli police about these excavations, which are happening day and night, for a week, and they just ignore our request, he continued. “I asked the Israeli police to allow specialized engineers and technicians from our department to find out what is going on and what is happening,” he said.
Al-Khatib observed that while similar actions had been conducted in the past, digging efforts have intensified recently.
“We are afraid about the tunnels being built that could cause the Al-Aqsa to fall,” he stated. Therefore, we alerted the Jordanian Royal Court, the Ministry of Islamic Awqaf, the Jordanian ambassador, and most importantly, we pleaded with (Jordan’s) King Abdullah, guardian of the sacred places, to get involved in this matter.
The Islamic Awqaf is deeply concerned about shocks for Al-Aqsa and regional stability even though it does not seek conflict.
“I requested permission from the Israeli police to fix the crumbling wall from which stones were falling, but they refused.
“Neither the Waqf nor UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) are aware of what is taking place. We are in charge of Al-Aqsa and completing our mission. We are concerned and terrified by what is happening because it is hazardous, Al-Khatib continued.
Arab News was informed by technical sources in the Islamic Awqaf that a committee of engineers and subject matter specialists connected to the department had been formed to investigate the situation and provide a report to authorities.