US wants clarification on Temple Mount excavation

The United States is asking Israel for clarification of reports about a construction project near the most disputed holy site in Jerusalem, the State Department said. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack, asked about the reports at his Tuesday news conference, said, "We are aware of these reports and understand the excavations are related to the construction of a new walkway from the Western Wall Plaza in the Old City of Jerusalem to the site of the Temple Mount-Haram al-Sharif." He said the department has requested clarification. "As always, we urge all parties to exercise great care when deciding whether and how to engage in any activity near sensitive religious sites," McCormack said in a statement.