Egypt: Israel West Bank heritage list risks peace
Egypt FM says Cairo does not recognize Israeli actions in the Cave of the Patriarchs, al-Aqsa mosque.
Israel's move to add two ancient tombs in the West Bank to its list of national heritage sites is a "threat to peace," Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul-Gheit said Tuesday.
Israel's decision last week to add the Tomb of the Patriarchs, in the West Bank city of Hebron, and the Tomb of Rachel, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, has met with a storm of regional protests.
"Egypt and Turkey do not recognize any Israeli actions in the tomb of Abraham or the al-Aqsa mosque," Abul-Gheit said in a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu, in Cairo.
"Israeli actions in Jerusalem, and its adding of the Haram al- Ibrahimi to the Israeli heritage list are a threat to peace," he said.
Tradition has it that the patriarch Abraham, revered by Muslims, Jews and Christians alike, is buried at the site in Hebron. A mosque stands at the site, known in Arabic as the Haram al-Ibrahimi.
Muslims know the site reputed to be the burial site of Rachel, wife of the biblical patriarch Jacob, as the Bilal mosque.
Davutoglu said that his country would follow the issue of the holy sites in the West Bank closely, out of a concern for maintaining peace in the Middle East.
Earlier on Tuesday, Davutoglu had met with Egyptian President Hosny Mubarak in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.
Egypt and Turkey are the largest of the countries in the region that have diplomatic ties with Israel,