Tuesday, August 7, 2012/Av 19, 5772
Israeli-Arab NGO accuses Israel of weakening the foundations of the Al-Aqsa Mosque
by Elhanan Miller
Two tumbling trees on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount have caused a Palestinian organization to accuse Israel of undermining the foundations of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage, an NGO based in the Israeli-Arab city of Umm al-Fahm and dedicated to documenting Israeli “assaults” on the Temple Mount, reported Monday that an old palm tree collapsed on the Temple Mount Sunday. A day earlier, another ancient tree reportedly fell to the ground to the east of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, near the Golden Gate on the Temple Mount.
The organization cited “Israeli digging under the Temple Mount” as the reason for the trees’ collapse. Another theory it offered was that “settlers” sprayed poisonous chemical substances on the trees, causing their decay.
The foundation, which also reported cracks on the ground of the Temple Mount plaza, claimed that “it is well-known that Israeli occupation digging along the western wall of the Al-Aqsa Mosque” has been going on for years. On July 31, the foundation released a report warning of Israeli attempts to supplant the Al-Aqsa Mosque with a third Jewish Temple.
A spokesman for the Jerusalem Municipality told The Times of Israel he was unaware of the issue.