Palestinians decry Israel gov't meeting in Western Wall tunnels of Al Aqsa

Israel's PM Benjamin Netanyahu (C) speaks at the weekly cabinet meeting, inside the Western Wall (Al Buraq Wall) tunnels of Al Aqsa Mosque complex in occupied East Jerusalem. (Photo/AA)

Palestinians have condemned an Israeli government meeting inside the Western Wall (Al Buraq Wall) tunnels of Al Aqsa Mosque complex in occupied East Jerusalem.

Early on Sunday, the government headed by Benjamin Netanyahu held its weekly meeting inside one of the tunnels to mark the anniversary of Israel's occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967.

The Palestinian Authority warned that the Israeli move would embolden further settlement projects at the expense of the Palestinian presence in the occupied East Jerusalem.

"The Israeli occupation government is seeking to reinforce its sovereignty in East Jerusalem, and to present a false narrative at the expense of the historical reality of the region, whose roots are Islamic, Christian, Palestinian and Arab," Ahmed Al Ruwaidi, an adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, told state news agency Wafa.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry said Israel's feeling of impunity encourages Tel Aviv to go too far "in the process of annexation and Judaisation of Jerusalem".

The ministry said that all Israeli measures and policies in Jerusalem are "invalid and illegitimate", and don't give Israel any right to annex Jerusalem or have sovereignty over the city.

Hamas group, which rules the Gaza, termed the Israeli cabinet meeting as a "dangerous escalation".

"These steps are an attempt to falsify the identity of Jerusalem, which are a blatant aggression on our people," group spokesman Hazem Qassem said in a statement.

In 1996, Palestinians discovered that Israel secretly excavated a tunnel leading to the ancient Al Buraq Wall area, increasing tensions with Palestinians that left 63 people dead and 600 injured.

Also known as the "Western or Wailing Wall", Al Buraq Wall is the western portion of Al Aqsa Mosque complex, which for Muslims represents the world's third holiest site.

Jews call the area the "Temple Mount", claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Six-Day War. It annexed the entire city in 1980, in a move never recognised by the international community.


Source: TRT World