Report Saying Western Wall Not Holy to Jews is Cut

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JERUSALEM (AP).- The Palestinian Authority has removed a report from a government website claiming that Jerusalem’s Western Wall isn’t holy to Jews, officials said Wednesday, after it provoked furious reactions from the U.S. and Israel. The essay, written by a top official in the Palestinian Information Ministry, has become the latest source of contention between the Israelis and Palestinians and highlighted the sensitivities over Jerusalem. Resolving the conflicting claims to the holy city is the most explosive issue in peace talks. A senior Palestinian official denied the report was taken down because of pressure. Instead, he said it was done “because it does not reflect our position.” He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. In the report, Deputy Information Minister Al-Mutawakil Taha claimed the Western Wall was not connected to the biblical Jewish Temples — contradicting centuries of archaeological evidence and o