UNESCO vindicates Jerusalem on dig

A U.N. inspection team vindicated an Israeli archaeological dig in Jerusalem but said it should proceed under foreign
supervision. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization sent a team to inspect the Western Wall Plaza last
month following Muslim allegations that Israeli excavations there threatened
the foundations of two major mosques on the nearby Temple Mount.

UNESCO’s
findings, which were leaked to the press Wednesday, agreed with Israeli
assertions that the dig was being conducted according to professional
standards. But UNESCO also said it was concerned that Israel’s Antiquities
Authority had apparently not planned the extent of the excavations, which
are meant to salvage artifacts before a walkway to the Temple Mount is
repaired. UNESCO urged Israel to suspend work, consult with Jordanian and
Palestinian authorities, and resume only with international supervision.
Israeli officials had no immediate comment.

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