Arab dig damages wall of Second Temple

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Arab dig damages wall of Second TemplePDFPrintE-mail
Israel
Written by Chris Perver  
Friday, 31 August 2007 01:04
Controversial destruction work that is being carried out on the Temple Mount by the Islamic Waqf has damaged the remains of a seven metre wall that may date back to the time of the Second Temple. The remains were uncovered by a mechanical digger that is being used to create a 400 metre long trench across the compound. It is thought the wall may belong to one of the buildings in the outer court of the Temple. The Islamic Waqf have said the work is necessary to replace aging electricity cables and to lay water pipes. But the dig has been criticized by Israeli archaeologists who are concerned the use of the digger will destroy many Jewish artefacts dating back to the First and Second Temple eras.

Quote: "Among the antiquities that have been damaged are a 7-meter-wide wall that apparently dates back to Second-Temple times and was likely part of the Temple courts, according to Israeli archaeologists from the nonpartisan Committee Against the Destruction of Antiquities on the Temple Mount. "This is the first time in the history of archaeological excavation in Israel that we have remains that could have been part of the courts of the Temple itself," Barkai said. He added that it was unfathomable that Israel's top archaeological body was turning a blind eye to archaeological destruction at Judaism's holiest site. "All civilized people should stand up and protest this barbaric act," he said.

Members of the Committee to Prevent the Destruction of Temple Mount are considering filing a complaint with the police and petitioning the Supreme Court in order to have the work stopped. The official Muslim view is that no Jewish Temples ever stood on the Temple Mount, and so any evidence to contrary must be suppressed by the Islamic Waqf. This is why Israeli excavations near the Temple Mount are vehemently protested by Muslims across the Middle East. Evidence of a Jewish presence on the Mount would bring Islamic claims of ownership into question. The Temple Mount is mentioned many times in the Bible, but it is not mentioned once in the Qur'an. The only reference is that of the prophet Mohammed's ascension into heaven from the "farthest mosque", which Muslims interpret to be a reference to the Temple Mount. Sheikh Raed Salah, the head of the Islamic Movement, who called for a Third Intifada to defend the Al Aqsa Mosque during Israeli excavations at the Mugrabi gate, is once again whipping up Islamic fervour over the holy place. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had previously stated Israel could hold joint authority over the Temple Mount. Salah is claiming that Israel wishes to divide the compound in order to build a Jewish Temple... 

Quote: "Salah called on Arab and Muslim nations to "prevent the division of the Al-Aqsa by Israel." In a letter to Arab kings and leaders of Muslim countries, Salah urged all Muslims to torpedo "Israel's plan that aims at dividing the Al-Aqsa Mosque between Muslims and Jews whereas in the Jewish part it plans to build its imaginary temple."

Source Jerusalem Post, YNet News

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