What’s going on beneath the Temple Mount, and how could the Israeli government possibly let arabs do this to the Jews’ Holiest site on earth
The state comptroller has been severely critical of the way in which authorities have dealt with the developments of recent years on the Temple Mount, but the report he authored on the subject has not been cleared for publication.
Is the Waqf planning to build or laying the groundwork for a fifth mosque in the eastern part of the Temple Mount complex in the underground space beneath the Golden Gate? The Public Committee Against the Destruction of Antiquities on the Temple Mount obtained updated photographs that were originally posted on Facebook by Muslim groups. The committee claims that the pictures show this is indeed what is being planned.
In recent years, Muslims have approved the building of two new mosques on the Temple Mount, while doing serious damage to antiquities there. The new mosques were built in addition to Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock. While the latter is technically a shrine, it has become a de facto place of worship. The two new Islamic houses of worship are Marwani mosque, built in Solomon’s Stables, and Al-Aqsa Al-Qadim, which is under Al-Aqsa.
State Comptroller Yosef Shapira has been severely critical of the manner in which the authorities have dealt with the developments of recent years on the Temple Mount, but the report he authored on the subject has not been cleared for publication.
Dr. Eilat Mazar, an Israeli archaeologist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is a member of the Public Committee Against the Destruction of Antiquities on the Temple Mount. She said that in the large space underneath the Golden Gate there continues to be “significant, new activity that arouses great concern.”
The Israel Antiquities Authority has said that there is nothing new to report. The space underneath the gate has only seen limited educational activity by Muslims, with no harm done to antiquities there.
The area in question was once used by the Islamic Movement and Sheikh Raed Salah, but it was sealed off by order of the military a decade ago. In recent years, there have been educational activities by Muslims. In recent months, however, Mazar said that “the area has been renovated, new lighting has been installed, carpets have been laid down there, and Muslim guards have prevented anyone from gaining access or coming close to the area.”
“The Muslims are gradually turning the place into a mosque and are in essence monopolizing the area for Muslim use only,” she said. “This is a very serious development, even if this is being done with authorization. It is even graver if it is being done without authorization.”
When asked to describe the current situation in the eastern sector of the Temple Mount complex, Mazar used one word: “Disgraceful.”
“These days, the Temple Mount, particularly its eastern part, resembles a big garbage dump and construction site,” she said. “It doesn’t resemble a historical site or an archaeological site of supreme importance for anyone who values culture.
“The Muslims are doing whatever they want on the Temple Mount, and there is no serious archaeological supervision,” she said. “The area around the Golden Gate is filled with construction material and building material. There are chiseled stones, rocks used for paving, and coarse sand. The tractors are
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