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January 26, 2011 10:08 am

Fear of Violence as Jerusalem Tunnel Completed

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Israeli officials fear the completion of an excavation project near the Temple Mount may spur violence by Palestinians.

The Israel Antiquities Authority announced Tuesday that it had completed the excavation of an ancient tunnel that runs from the City of David in eastern Jerusalem to near the Temple Mount.

Some Palestinians believe the project is an attempt to damage the Al Aksa Mosque; previous archeological projects in the area have led to rioting by Palestinians.

Uzi Dahari, the Israel Antiquities Authority ‘s deputy director, told Israel Radio on Tuesday that there was “no intention of igniting interreligious tensions.”

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Travelers making pilgrimages to Jerusalem some 2,000 years ago used the road in the tunnel, according to the authority. It was discovered during excavations on a water channel used for drainage during the Second Temple period.

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