House of Lords
Lord Hylton (Crossbench)
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will ask the Government of Israel to allow, and UNESCO to organise, independent archaeological and structural investigation of excavations now under way in the area of the Al Aqsa Mosque and Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
Lord Howell of Guildford (Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office; Conservative)
Officials at our embassy in Tel Aviv have raised the issue of archaeological excavations near to the Western Wall and the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, as well as the future of the Mughrabi ramp, with the Israeli authorities on a number of occasions. We understand that the issue of the Mughrabi ramp has also been the subject of discussion at the executive board of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
Given the sensitivity of the site, we have asked the Israeli authorities to consult fully with relevant parties, including UNESCO, before any work is carried out on the Mughrabi ramp or in areas that would directly impact the Temple Mount.