Palestine Urges International Probe into Jerusalem Excavations

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.

The ministry went on to describe the Israeli eviction of Palestinians from their homes as a large-scale, systematic ethnic cleansing.

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.

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.

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.

Source: Palestine Chronicle