UN Committee Demands Israel Cease Archaeological Digs in Jerusalem

The Special Political Committee of the UN General Assembly demanded yesterday that Israel desist from further archaeological excavations in Jerusalem which are allegedly transforming and endangering the historical, cultural and religious sites of the city. A resolution to that effect was adopted by a vote of 101-2 with 23 abstentions. Israel and the U.S. voted against the measure. Thirty other countries did not participate. The resolution must be endorsed by the General Assembly plenary to become effective.

Submitted by the Islamic countries last Friday, the draft resolution contended that “the excavations and transformations constitute a flagrant violation of the principles of international law and the provisions of the Geneva Convention” and urged the Security Council “to consider this situation in case Israel fails to implement this resolution.” It called on the Secretary General of the UN to report to the General Assembly and the Security Council on Israel’s compliance no later than November 23.

The resolution charged specifically that the excavations threatened the area “beneath and around the Moslem holy sanctuary of Al Aksa and the sacred dome of the Rock, the structure of which is in danger of collapse.”

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