Balad leader: Israel 'trying to change the status quo' in J'lem

Balad leader Israel tr

October 7, 2009 18:25

Following the recent Arab riots in Jerusalem, Arab leaders and MKs visited the Temple Mount area on Wednesday and discussed with the Waqf "the Aksa Mosque's accessibility" to Muslims. In an interview on Army Radio, Balad leader Dr. Jamal Zahalka stated that Israel was "trying to change the status quo by creating new facts on the ground," asserting that Israel was possibly "planning to build a synagogue" on the Temple Mount. Zahalka explained that while Al Aksa Mosque had stood on the Temple Mount for 1,400 years, Israeli excavations underneath it could endanger several Old City mosques "in the event of an earthquake" - the last of which occurred in 1920. Zahalka requested international supervision of Israeli excavations in the area, adding that he was alarmed by what he termed the "transition" of right-wing extremism "from the margins of Israeli society to its political mainstream."

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