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Hamas warns Israel against harming al-Aqsa mosque
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18:59, August 21, 2007

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Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) on Tuesday warned the Israeli government against continuing excavations beneath the al-Aqsa holy mosque in Jerusalem.

"The digging may blow up the situation in the region in a way that no one can bear," Hamas said in a statement issued on 38th anniversary in commemoration of the burning of parts of Muslim's third holiest shrine.

The fire, set in 1969 by an Israeli settler, caused the burning of the eastern wing of the mosque. Recently, Israel has resumed digging tunnels under the mosque but scaled the work down following Muslim protests.

Hamas has vowed to continue "hard work to liberate al-Aqsa mosque and clean it from the dirty (Israeli) occupation."

In the statement, Hamas also rejected any "cheap" Israeli- Palestinian talks at the cost of Palestinian interests, in which the Palestinians are represented by its political rival Fatah movement.

"We warn against the resumption of settlements and concessions and express our rejection to what is referred to as creative solutions to this issue," Hamas said, affirming al-Aqsa was "an Islamic shrine not subject to any play."

Source: Xinhua

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