Jordan Unhappy with J'lem Excavation

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CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - Jordanian officials protested the resumption of excavation work near the Mughrabi Gate in Jerusalem's Old City.

"We have information that the Jerusalem municipality will take a decision soon to resume work there," Nassar Habasheneh, spokesman for Jordan's Foreign Ministry, told AFP.

The excavation, which began in February 2007, sparked wide protest among Muslims in Israel and other neighboring countries.

On Thursday, the Hashemite Kingdom's foreign minister registered a formal complaint with the Israeli ambassador against resuming excavations before construction begins on a new walkway leading to the Temple Mount's only entrance for non-Muslims.

Israeli law requires an excavation dig before beginning any construction to ensure that irreplaceable antiquities will not be destroyed.

"Israel plans excavations near Mughrabi Gate and wants to build a bridge there, violating the 1994 peace treaty with Jordan and international treaties," Jordanian Foreign Minister Salah Bashir said.

"Jordan rejects such illegal measures," said Jordanian parliamentarian Mohammed Abu Hdeib.

Sources: AFP, YNet news

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