The Israeli government is planning to spend 60 million shekels ($16.6 million) on excavation projects under Al-Aqsa Mosque, amid calls for illegal Jewish settlers to storm the Muslim holy site, Ma’an has reported.
A draft resolution on the issue will be presented by Minister of Culture and Sports Miri Regev, with the funding provided by her department and the Department of Education over the next two years.
Israeli occupation forces have also ordered that part of the cemetery of Bab Al-Rahma be separated from the eastern wall of the Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa compound that it adjoins.
Residents of the town of Silwan have protested against the desecration of the cemetery, which contains the graves of many Palestinian scientists, scholars, and martyrs. There has been an increase in the number of Israeli violations of the sanctity of Bab Al-Rahma, with plans for a park to be established there.
Israel has continued to excavate the ground beneath the Noble Sanctuary, in the search for evidence of an ancient Jewish presence in the area, including the existence of a Jewish Temple, and such excavations weaken the foundations of Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Hundreds of Jewish settlers regularly storm the Noble Sanctuary compound backed by Israeli security forces, performing rituals and pledging to destroy the mosque, whilst Muslim worshippers are locked out.
Source: Palestine Chronicle