Using the cover of Ramadan’s final days, when there are no Jews on the Temple Mount, the Waqf continued to illegally remove soil containing historical artifacts from periods as early as the First Temple era.
By: United with Israel Staff
The Islamic Waqf (Muslim Trust) utilized the last days of the Muslim month of Ramadan to dig up and remove massive amounts of earth from the Temple Mount, which contains rare and unique archaeological artifacts dating back to the First Temple era.
Israel’s Makor Rishon newspaper reported Friday that Jews are banned from the Temple Mount during the last days of Ramadan so as not to “antagonize” the Muslim worshipers with their mere presence, and so the Waqf took advantage of this window of unsupervised time to remove dirt, which was carried out against explicit court orders.
Within a week’s time, 400 trucks removed dirt which was cleared by the Waqf in 1999 to make way for a massive new mosque on the Temple Mount. The trucks dumped their contents in local dumps in the Kidron valley.
The authorities intervened at some point, and some of the dirt was left at the holy site.
The Islamic Waqf, controlled by Jordan, is carrying out extensive unauthorized construction and excavation on the Temple Mount, risking irrevocable harmto the archaeological remains of the Temple.
The court has ordered the Waqf to cease its damaging construction projects on the Temple Mount but to no avail.
Israeli archaeologists have recovered numerous millennia-old artifacts from the rubble dumped by the Waqf, and fear that many other such artifacts have been lost.
The Waqf excavations significantly compromised the archaeological integrity of the Temple Mount and sparked outrage in Israel, leading many to suggest that the Waqf was intentionally attempting to eradicate evidence of two Jewish Temples that stood on the Mount for more than 800 years.
The Temple Mount Sifting Project, which has operated since 2004 in the Emek Tzurim National Park, aims to salvage religious and historical artifacts from the rubble, as well as to educate the public about the veracity of Jewish history on the Mount.
More than half a million artifacts have been pulled from the rubble so far by 200,000-plus participants, including 6,000 ancient coins.
These abundant archaeological discoveries attest to the Jewish people’s rich history in the region, proving that the May 2017 UNESCO resolution denying the Jewish connection to Jerusalem is historically false.
In October 2016, the international body said the Jewish people have no ties to the Temple Mount.
Incidentally, archaeologists and historians have yet to discover a single artifact from the “Palestinian Era.”