Israel's excavation work at the Mugrabi Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem is being carried out in accordance with international standards, according to the report drafted by a team of UNESCO experts who came to Jerusalem to expect the controversial dig.I'll be interested to hear why Israel should include international bodies - as a diplomatic fig-leaf? Do they think that in this way they will placate such people as Sheikh Ra'ad Salah, who has been calling up an "intifada" (another one) over the footbridge?
Sources in the UN said the report, which will be published on Wednesday, accepts Israel's claims that the excavations do not harm the Temple Mount compound, and support the legality of the work.
However, the report criticizes Israel's choice to carry out the excavation independently, without including international bodies in the plans, and calls on Israel to temporarily halt the excavation immediately to allow continued international supervision.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007