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Temple Mount digging contested

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Israel’s decision to resume digging near the Temple Mount could spark riots, the Israeli Cabinet’s only Arab member said.

The archaeological excavations, which are required in order to construct a new pedestrian walkway to the holy site, have been put on hold for two weeks after a letter appealing the decision was filed with the Cabinet secretary by Science, Culture and Sport Minister Ghaleb Majadle, the Cabinet’s lone Arab member.

Majadle’s letter noted the possibility of rioting.

Palestinians have charged that Israel is using the work near the Mughrabi Gate, halted since June, to foil the November peace conference in Annapolis, Md. The new walkway will replace one damaged last winter.

When the work began in February the Muslim world was up in arms, charging that Israel was trying to damage the foundation of the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aksa mosques.

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