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Palestine: Israel unveils new synagogue in Al-Aqsa Mosque

20th Dec 2017
Palestine: Israel unveils new synagogue in Al-Aqsa Mosque

JERUSALEM (AA): The Israeli authorities on Tuesday unveiled a new Jewish synagogue under the Al-Buraq Wall –known to Jews as the Western Wall– in occupied East Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

“Following 12 years of construction, the new synagogue was opened on Monday evening,” the Heritage Foundation of the Western Wall, an Israeli governmental body, said in a statement.

“The unique design of the prayer hall combines rare art and unique lighting, creating a wonderful contrast between ancient and modern,” the statement read.

In recent years, Islamic institutions in East Jerusalem have lodged repeated protests over excavations being carried out by the Israeli authorities under the flashpoint mosque compound.

In a statement, Sheikh Ekrema Sabri, head of Jerusalem’s Supreme Islamic Council and a former Al-Aqsa imam, stressed that the Al-Buraq Wall was a component of the Al-Aqsa’s western wall.

“The wall is part of our Islamic heritage and will remain so until Judgment Day,” Sabri said.

“The Israeli occupation has no claim on Jerusalem’s heritage,” he added. “This new synagogue… doesn’t have any historical roots.”

 

“All new construction by the [Israeli] occupation authorities in Jerusalem is illegitimate and lacks a historical basis,” Sabri said, adding the holy city “cannot be partitioned”.

 

Tension has mounted in the occupied territories since U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on Dec. 6, drawing condemnation from across the Arab and Muslim world.

[Photo: Al Buraq Wall by David Holt/Creative Commons License]

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