Turkey to check Jerusalem dig

Turkey will send a team to check on Israel’s controversial repair work near the Temple Mount. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has joined harsh Islamic denunciations of Israel for repairing a decaying ramp leading to the holy site, announced the move Thursday after talks in Ankara with visiting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Olmert said he would welcome Turkish oversight of the work. Muslim leaders have used the project to revive frequent accusations that Israel wants to undermine two Muslim shrines on the Temple Mount. “The work which is being conducted is being done outside the Temple Mount area,” Olmert told reporters. “We are very happy to host the prime minister’s team and therefore the right and correct and exact story will come out.” The excavations, carried out by Israel’s Antiquities Authority, are meant to scour the site for historical relics that could be damaged by renovation work to the ramp. In a further move to mollify Muslims, the Antiquities Authority on Thursday installed a live video broadcast of the excavation on its Web site:  http://www.antiquities.org.il/home_heb.asp.

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