Israeli govt meeting near Jerusalem site angers Palestinians

Kobi Gideon

The Palestinians sharply condemned Israel on Sunday for holding a government meeting near a sensitive Jerusalem holy site at the core of their conflict.

In fact, the holiest site in the world for Jews is the Temple Mount, the location of the First and Second Jewish Temples.

Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat called the meeting a "provocation".

JTA-The White House used the term "Jerusalem, Israel" in a live video feed of President Donald Trump's visit to the city, a departure from the policies of past administrations.

Israeli lawmakers at a cabinet meeting on Sunday approved the construction of elevators that will allow tourists direct access to the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City.

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The project that the government is expected to approve solves the lack of accessibility between the Jewish Quarter and the Western Wall.

Christians outside of the Levant remain divided on the issue, as biblical end times prophecy states: "I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple".

The following day, President Trump became the first sitting US president in more than a century to visit the Western Wall and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, believed to mark the site of Jesus' crucifixion. Home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and gold-topped Dome of the Rock, it is Islam's third-holiest site after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia. Netanyahu's decision in 1996 to open a new tunnel entrance spurred days of violence in the West Bank that left about 100 Palestinians and more than a dozen Israelis dead.

At Sunday's meeting the government approved a plan to build a cable vehicle project to the Western Wall.

The cable auto project has been discussed for several years, with Israeli officials saying it is needed to ease access to the heavily visited Western Wall.

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