A new report finds that the Islamic Waqf is continuing to destroy Jewish antiquities on the Temple Mount and disposing of them in the garbage in a direct violation of a ruling by the Israeli Supreme Court.
The Temple Mount is the holiest site in the Jewish religion and is also a holy shrine in Islam. Archaeologist Tzachi Zweig-Devira reported to Arutz Sheva, “At the eastern part of the Temple Mount, there is a pile of dirt and antiquities, which the Waqf moved without supervision of an official from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA). This is a direct violation of a Supreme Court ruling from 2004 which forbids moving the pile until it becomes clear what it contains. Anyone wishing to move the pile must give 30 days’ advance notification, according to the Supreme Court’s ruling.”
Zweig-Devira furthermore asserted that such piles of dirt may have important archaeological findings. Similar piles in the past have included signatures of Cohanim (priests) mentioned in the Book of Jeremiah, remains of the Holy Temple plaza, and additional findings from various time periods. He asserted that he and other archaeologists locate dozens of ancient artifacts every day in the pile in question. Zweig-Devira also declared that the Waqf is also failing to protect beams from the period of the First Temple, leaving them exposed to bad weather.
Unfortunately, the Islamic Waqf has a long history of destroying Jewish antiquities in the Temple Mount area. In 1996, the Islamic Waqf converted two ancient underground Second Temple period structures into a new large mega-mosque that can accommodate 10,000 people. Both structures, known as Solomon’s Stables and the Eastern Hulda Gate passageway, were never mosques before throughout history. The construction work carried out for this mosque, which is now the largest mosque in Israel, resulted in the destruction of many ancient Jewish antiquities. Solomon’s Stables had enormous historical value. During the Herodian era, it was a pivotal part of the Jewish Temple.
But as if that was not bad enough, in November 1999, the Islamic Waqf opened an “emergency exit” to the new mosque. In the process of constructing this emergency exit, thousands of tons of ancient fill from the site were dumped in Kidron Valley. Israeli archeologists later were to find in the garbage artifacts dating as early as the First Temple period. But as if that were not bad enough, in February and March 2001, an ancient arched structure built against the eastern wall of the Temple Mount enclosure was razed by bulldozers in order to further enlarge the “emergency gate” of the new mosque at Solomon’s Stables; and in 2007, the Islamic Waqf caused more damage to Jewish Antiquities while digging ditches to replace power lines.
Concerned Israelis are now seeking to take up the latest destruction of Jewish antiquities by the Islamic Waqf with the Israeli Supreme Court again. Following the latest revelations regarding the massive removal and dumping of dirt containing artifacts from the area of the Temple Mount, attorney Aviad Vesuli announced that he would appeal to the Israeli High Court of Justice. The removal of debris containing proof of the Jewish Holy Temple under Jewish sovereignty is part of a larger Palestinian Authority campaign to claim exclusive Muslim ownership of the Temple Mount area and that there is no Jewish history there. At the entrance to the Temple Mount, a Waqf sign proclaims, “The Al-Aqsa Mosque courtyard and everything in it is Islamic property.”
Please watch the video below of of one of the many times that Palestinians have destroyed Jewish archaeological treasures in Jerusalem!
By Rachel Avraham