Turkey and webcams survey al-Aqsa

Two new initiatives attempt to calm Muslim anger over controversial project.

    Erdogan, left, announced the decision to send experts to al-Aqsa after meeting Olmert in Ankara [AFP]
    He said: "We are very happy to host the prime minister's team and therefore the right and correct and exact story will come out."
    Turkey is one of the few countries in the region to enjoy good ties with both Israel and the Palestinians.
    Live excavations
    Israel has video cameras to film the excavations in a bid to assuage Muslim anger over the project.
    The cameras are to broadcast live footage of the archaeological excavations near al-Aqsa mosque while work is under way, will remain on 24 hours a day.
    External link

    Israel Antiquities Authority

    The feed began broadcasting on Thursday afternoon and can be viewed on the Israel Antiquities Authority website.
    The mayor of Jerusalem, Uri Lupolianski, said on Sunday he would suspend construction work to replace a damaged wooden bridge leading to al-Aqsa compound with a stone ramp.
    However, the other excavations have continued.
    Court case
    Sheikh Mohammed Hussein, the mufti of Jerusalem, and Sheikh Raed Salah, the head of Israel's Islamic Movement, have heavily criticised the excavations and urged Palestinians to mobilise against the project.

    Palestinians were arrested during last week's
    clashes at the al-Aqsa compound [EPA] 

    On Thursday, a Jerusalem court found Salah guilty of participating in an "illegal demonstration" and extended a ban prohibiting Salah from approaching Jerusalem's Old City for two months, the AFP news agency reported.
    Salah said he would ignore the court order and that he intended to head to al-Aqsa mosque on Friday for the main weekly Muslim prayers.
    Israel maintains the work poses no risk to the holy site, also venerated as the location of the ancient Jewish temple destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.
    The second Palestinian uprising - or  intifada - erupted in September 2000 after a visit by Ariel Sharon, the then Israeli opposition leader, to the compound.


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