Jordan, Palestinians dismiss Israeli claims about expected collapse of Al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan
Jordan has rejected Israeli claims that part of the Al Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem is at risk of collapse, asserting experts had checked it earlier this year. "There is no base for the Israeli warnings claiming that the Marwani prayer room could collapse during the holy month of Ramadan," Jordan's Religious Affairs Minister Ahmed Heleil told Al Rai daily on Monday.
Heleil stressed that a team of experts visited the site earlier this year and found no reason for concern. "There are no problems concerning the foundations or the walls," he said.
On Sunday, Israel's newly appointed Public Security Minister Gideon Ezra raised fears about the possible collapse of part of the compound because of the high number of visitors expected during the fasting month of Ramadan, which starts next month.
Palestinian sources suggested that Ezra's comments were part of an Israeli plan to restrict access to Al-Aqsa compound during Ramadan.
The Palestine National Authority (PNA) demanded Sunday that the Jerusalem Committee of the Organization of the Islamic conference (OIC) convene to confront the new Israeli threats.
Palestinians called the warning political.
"We demand that Al-Quds (Jerusalem) Committee representing 16 Arab and Muslim nations convene to confront the Israeli threats, in particular those threats against the holy places in Jerusalem," President Yasser Arafat's media adviser Nabil Abu Rudainah told the Ramallah-based daily Al-Ayyam.
He warned that, "the dangerous Israeli measures would lead to endless disasters in the region." (albawaba.com)
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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