KHALED ABU TOAMEH
A Hamas spokesperson said that Israel’s effort to “falsify history and distort the facts will not help it, and Jerusalem will remain the capital of Palestine and its Arab Islamic identity.”
Remains of destruction discovered near the wall from previous excavations. / (photo credit: ELIYAHU YANAI/CITY OF DAVID ARCHIVES)
Hamas responded on Wednesday to the news about the discovery of a section of Jerusalem’s city wall built during the First Temple period by accusing Israel of “falsifying” history.
Hamas spokesman Muhammad Hamadeh said that Israel’s effort to “falsify history and distort the facts will not help it, and Jerusalem will remain the capital of Palestine and its Arab Islamic identity.”
The Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced that the section of the wall that was mostly destroyed by the Babylonian army in 586 BCE has been uncovered by archaeologists in the City of David National Park.
Hamadeh dismissed the announcement and accused Israel of “falsifying and stealing history.”
He said that the announcement was “a continuation of previous announcements related to the alleged Temple.”
The announcement, Hamadeh said, represents a “continuation of the [Israeli] approach based on the forgery and theft of the history of the holy city.”
He also claimed that the announcement was part of Israel’s “plans to Judaize Jerusalem and obliterate its Arab Islamic identity.”
He added: “The aggression of the occupation did not stop at the limits of falsifying history. Rather, it seeks to change the reality. The announcement of these alleged discoveries comes in conjunction with the normalization agreements [between Israel and four Arab countries] that gave it an international cover.”
The spokesman warned Israel against causing “harm and vandalism” in the area of the Aqsa Mosque compound.
Earlier this week, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh called on the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to examine Israel’s excavations “beneath the Aqsa Mosque compound and prevent the intended plans of the Israel Antiquities Authority to expand the tunnel located below the al-Buraq Wall,” referring to the Western Wall.