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10 February 2007
I write to express our deep concern with regard to the excavation and demolition work being carried out by the Israeli authorities near Al-Aqsa Mosque, on the road leading to Bab al-Magharibah at the Buraq Wall, the western wall of the Haram al-Aqsa (Temple Mount). Public anger is escalating at this step taken by Israel at this critical time in which numerous parties, including the United Nations, are striving to provide the appropriate climate in which to revive the peace process.
Egypt considers that Israel, as the occupying power, should be bound by all of the international resolutions on the status of Jerusalem, respect its holy places and not encroach upon its character or alter the physical features of the religious properties therein, the foremost of which is Al-Aqsa Mosque. Egypt emphasizes that any action pertaining to Al-Aqsa Mosque should be closely coordinated and agreed upon with the relevant Palestinian officials in the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf Administration. Therefore, we support moves aimed at halting unilateral measures on the part of Israel in this regard.
As you may agree, the sanctity of Al-Aqsa Mosque makes any movement inside or around it a highly sensitive issue for all Muslim peoples all over the world. Such actions on the part of Israel have a negative impact on the current efforts to create the appropriate political climate between the Palestinian and Israeli sides, for the stability of the region and to build mutual confidence between them.