Temple Mount Archaeological Destruction Updates

 

CPDATM – The Committee for the Prevention of the Destruction of Antiquities on the Temple Mount

IAA- Israeli Antiquities Association

PM – Prime Minster

Waqf – Moslem trust on the Temple Mount

AG – Attorney General

 

10/08/09 The Official CPDATM Website is Now Online

The CPDATM has established an official website. For updated information regarding archaeological destruction on the Temple Mount see the new website at http://www.templemountdestruction.com/

 

13/08/08 New Substantial Discoveries in Past Waqf Excavations on Temple Mount

Last Thursday, I gave a lecture and published an article in the annual New Studies on Jerusalem conference of Ingeborg Rennert Center for Jerusalem Studies in Bar-Ilan University. See abstract of the article.

 

See full article in Hebrew and pictures

 

 

1/11/07 Archaeological Remains dated to the First Tempe Period have been Discovered during the IAA Inspection

Very surprisingly, and contrary to IAA policy so far, the IAA reported in a press release that a sealed occupation level has been discovered on the Temple Mount dating to the First Temple period in the course of the inspection that the IAA is conducting on the Waqf's trench work.

So far, the IAA has refrained from admitting in public that it is indeed performing archaeological inspection work at the site, since there was an agreement with the Waqf that the Israeli inspection is not to be disclosed in public. In this case, not only is there an official press release admitting the existence of such inspection, but the press release also describes an archaeological dig at the site performed by an official body of the State of Israel. The press release was sent to the political affairs reporters of all news outlets and not to the science reporters, as is usually done. It appears that the disclosure in this case is motivated by primarily political considerations and is not the IAA's own initiative. Rather, it appears that a directive from the Prime Minister's Office is responsible for the press release. In these very days, negotiations with the Palestinians are taking place and the future of the Temple Mount is one of the main issues being negotiated.

 

As far as the release itself is concerned, the artifacts that were discovered are very common finds in the Sifting Project of Temple Mount dirt that is ongoing for three years now. The uniqueness of the find is that it is a "clean" assemblage that is entirely from one specific period and was taken out directly from the Temple Mount. The IAA press release defined this to be a sealed occupational level. The problem is that in order to identify an occupational level we need complete vessels in the assemblage as well as floor and walls to which the assemblage relates. According to the publicized photographs, only tiny pottery shards smaller than the palm of the hand were discovered, and no floor was reported to have been discovered. Even if there was a floor, it could only have been identified using a true archaeological dig, whereas this dig appears to have been done in haste, and apparently without measurements and record-keeping as is the norm in any archaeological dig. Also, according to one of the photographs, the dig may have been conducted at night.

 

The assemblage was discovered in the southern part of the eastern flank of the trench, about 80 meters south of the eastern stairs of the raised platform of the Dome of the Rock. According to Yuval Baruch, the Jerusalem District archaeologist who dug the assemblage, this was a one meter long stretch in the trench. In our survey of the trench dig, we identified a clear terra rosa stratum at this point in the trench's cross-section. Terra rosa earth is generally associated in Jerusalem with strata the predates the First Temple destruction or just natural earth with no archaeological material in it. It is possible that this stratum represents the Herodian fills that were brought from outside the city. These fills were apparently disturbed by a cluster of earth of an Iron Age stratum that was displaced from its original location on the Temple Mount as a result of Herod's work on the Temple Mount.

 

See IAA report

20/9/08 Supreme court tends to reject CPDATM petition

This morning, the supreme court dealt with a plea of the CPDATM.  Based on the judges who had been selected to deal with the issue (Ayala Purcacha, Asher Gronis and Edna Arbel) there seemed to be a slight chance for the plea's acceptance.  Surprisingly, at the opening of the discussion, it seemed that Judge Procaccia was sympathetic toward the presentation of the committee, however, the State's attorneys managed to upset the entire case by focusing the issue on the question of whether or not there was archeological inspection while the trench-digging took place instead of dealing with the question of why the digging was permitted without first carrying out preliminary preventative, salvage excavation.  Archeological inspection is required where there is a question as to whether or not a site contains antiquities, whereas in known archeological sites, salvage excavations are carried out before allowing earth-moving or construction work.  The impression created in the court was that archeological inspection can be put on a par with an actual dig during which scientific records are made of the exposed antiquities and remnants found.  Our situation here can be compared to open heart surgery being carried out with an axe, while a professional surgeon looks on.

Behind closed doors, the state presented evidence testifying to the fact that the earth-works were carried out under archeological inspection. The committee and its lawyers could not respond to testimony given behind closed doors and therefore the judges announced their acceptance of the state's evidence that there had indeed been close inspection.  To finalize the matter, it was requested that the committee present within 21 days an expert archeological opinion as to the criteria according to which there should have been archeological inspection on The Mount and following that a judgment will be given.

It must be pointed out that, should the court accept the position of the government, agreeing that archeological inspection is adequate and there is no need for a salvage excavation, this will be a dangerous precedent.   Any contractor who wishes to build on a known archeological site where the Antiquities Authority demands that he first finance and carry out a salvage excavation, will be able to say that archeological inspection was deemed to be adequate on the Temple Mount, all the more so at any other location in the country.

See Israel Caspi interview after the court hearing

18/9/08 Supreme Court will have a hearing on Thursday morning regarding the CPDATM petition

See more details about the petition on Haaretz article

7/9/07 Detailed reports and pictures of the new trench were published on BAS website

2/9/07 CPDATM will submit a petition to supreme court in order to stop heavy machinery digs on the Mount

2/9/07 Updated map of the trench and architectural elements seen in its cross-sections

30/8/07 Architectural Elements and Stratified Layers Were Seen in Several Spots in Trench Cross-Sections

The trench had reached a length of about 400m, and extends all the way to the Al-Aqsa mosque. Stratified layers, bedrock, wall remnants and a pavement were observed in the trench cross-sections. Most interesting was a 7m long remnant of a wall collapse that was seen in the trench cross-section south to the eastern stairs of the raised platform. More details and a field report will be published soon.

More pictures could be seen in Hebrew field report.

28/8/07 A new, very long trench to the North and East of the Dome of the Rock raised platform

More details and pictures

18/7/07 Hershel Shanks, editor of Biblical Archaeology Review, has published a very good article in the Wall Street Journal about the recent destruction

18/7/07 Israel Channel 10 news has published some more videos of the trench dig.

14/7/07 The Jerusalem Post has published an excellent editorial article about the Temple Mount travesty.

11/7/07 New pictures and a video from the trench

11/7/07 A Trench was dug with a tractor on Dome of the Rock raised platform

On Sunday (8/7/07) Waqf official used a JCB tractor to dig a trench on the Dome of the Rock raised platform, in order to install new electricity lines. The trench depth varies from 40 – 60 cm deep! Grey earth was removed from the dig, which indicates it is archaeologically significant. In addition, signs of ancient architecture was exposed beneath the current platform slabs!! It should be mentioned that the bedrock level at this location is very close to the current platform.

It is not clear who authorized such a dig, but we do know it was authorized by Israeli officials. Even if there was archaeological supervision, by any circumstances it doesn't justify such a dig with heavy machinery at this location.

12/05/06 Summary of the past year’s events

The Project of Sifting the Debris from the Temple Mount

The project continues, and apparently will carry on for quite a long time, thanks to Ir-David Foundation of taking the project under its wing. The second season began on September 2005 and, based on successful experience gained during the first season, the project orientation will be educational. Hundreds of groups from various institutions have already participated in the project. Information regarding participation in the project can be obtained by calling 972-2-6280342.

One of the surprising finds of the first season’s work was a section from a marble pillar shaft (in the lower left picture). As already mentioned, Waqf workers sorted out and removed the large architectural items from the earth heaps before they were dumped outside. Finding such an item was a totally surprise to the projects’ staff. Even more interesting is the fact that, among a collection of pillar remnants assembled near the southern wall of the Temple Mount, there are two similar segments of the same diameter and texture as the one found in the sifting project (in the lower right picture). From this we can surmise that additional marble pillars were also found in the large excavation carried out at the entrance to “Solomon’s Stables” or from some other unknown illicit excavation on the mount. These items are not typical contents of early land-fill and therefore it is possible that they were dismantled from architectural remnants that were destroyed by the illicit dig on Nov. 99.

As to the pillars, it may be suggested that they are from buildings that were on the Temple Mount during the Late Roman or Byzantine period. It is possible that they were in secondary use during later periods.

The Corner of the Ophel

The struggle of the CPDATM for the prevention of destruction of Temple-Mount antiquities is continuing with its efforts to halt the expansion of the Moslem cemetery located to the east of the Eastern wall, near the south eastern corner of the Temple-Mount from extending into the Ophel corner. The committee has applied several appeals to the Supreme Court but received only limited success because the police have not implemented the instructions of the court. More information on this subject can be found in a collection of articles that have appeared in the press.

Repairs to the Walls

The replacement work of the stones that were bulging out from the southern and eastern walls has been completed. The new stones have a completely modern texture and are an esthetic blemish to the structure of the walls of the Temple Mount.

Work in “Solomon’s Stables”

In tandem with the repairs to the walls, reinforcements were made to the structure of “Solomon’s Stables”. These works included the erecting of scaffolding and drilling in ancient architectural remnants without any archeological inspection.

Tractors on the Mountain

Occasional evidence of continued earthworks continues to show up in the reports of tractors working on the Temple-Mount without any archeological inspection. About three tractors of different functions and sizes are permanently situated on the Mount. The CPDATM has long demanded their removal from the compound so long as there is no archeological and professional inspection over their work. Recently a medium-sized tractor was photographed as it worked in the structure of
Solomon’s Stables”.

 

06/09/04: Court bars removal of Temple Mount artifacts

See Jerusalem Post article for more details.

22/8/04: The plan to remove tons of debris is now frozen

Due to the public exposure of the plan to remove tons of debris from the Temple Mount, the Israeli authorities have frozen the permit given to the Waqf.

16/8/04: Tons of debris will be removed from the Mount in coming days, for further construction

The Waqf plans to remove tones of debris out of the Mount in the coming days. The plan is coordinated with the police and the IAA, which will supervise the debris once it is taken out of the Mount. This debris is lying at the eastern area of the Mount for more than four years, since the illegal dig on November 1999. It is most probable that the debris contains many significant archaeological artifacts that should be examined and preserved.

The purpose of this planed work is to make room for further construction at the Eastern section of the Mount.

 

17/6/04: New diggings of a channel north to the Dome of the Rock ramp

Yesterday a new channel was dug near the Dome of the Rock ramp, to its north. The channel is about 30m long and 50cm deep. The purpose of the dig was for installing a new electric wire. I’ve gone through the dirt taken out from this dig, and saw many sherds, that had fresh broken facets. This means that large peaces of pottery were broken during this dig. I did not notice any archaeologist supervising the workers.

22/03/04: Updates of the ongoing illegal construction

In new pictures we have taken on the Mount it can be seen that more illegal unsupervised construction is taking place on the Mount everyday. The main construction these days is at the structure known as ‘Al-Aqsa Library’, near the Iron Gate at the Western wall. In addition, an old bulge in the Eastern wall has extended outwards from the wall line as is now in an immediate collapse situation.

Click here to view the new pictures

16/2/04: New debris has been evacuated from the Mount, More digging

According to pictures recently taken by the Tenu'ah LeChinun HaMikdash organization, it seems like work in the Islam museum included a dig or an evacuation of ancient debris. The debris was taken out from the mount by a truck. The pictures also show some maintenance digging that was done with no archaeological inspection. See pictures.

16/204: The police is using the Gate of the Chain for Non-Muslim visitors for entering the Mount

Although some officers in the police seek for excuses to close the Temple Mount, it seems like there are directions from the government to keep the Mount open at any case. Meanwhile, the latest Rambam Gate entrance collapse is being used by extreme Islamic groups to escalate the struggle with the state of Israel. There is no connection between the collapse and the latest constructions in the Temple Mount. It is a structure that is exterior to the Mount walls.

15/2/04: Collapse of a retaining wall of the Rambam entrance to the Mount

Due to the snow over Jerusalem last night, a retaining wall of the Rambam (Mugrabi) Gate to the Temple Mount collapsed over the woman’s section of the western wall praying court. Due to the danger of further collapses the police moved the woman’s section further north. But instead of finding a solution for the Temple Mount visitors, they decided to completely close the Temple Mount for visitors until the entrance will be renovated. For some reason they forgot that the Temple Mount has many more entrances except the Rambam gate.

10/2/04: More unsupervised renovations in several ancient structure on Temple Mount

The wall near the Islam Museum that collapsed several months ago has been reconstructed again. Near by, there is some unclear paving constructed with no clear destination.

The northern section of the Islam Museum is going through a comprehensive renovation that will change the interior of the structure completely. All the exhibits were taken out.

The progress of the reconstruction work of the southern wall is very slow, although many construction blocks that were seen near the Solomon’s stables entrance are missing, and were probably used for other purposes than the reconstruction of the Southern Wall.

In a structure near the Iron Gate of the western wall, named “Al-Aqsa Library” is also being renovated from inside, and it seems like debris was taken out of it.

New pictures will be published soon on the website.

 

 

 

10/12/03: New unsupervised construction near the Dome of the Rock ramp

On an occasional visit today, we surprisingly noticed that a JCB tractor was digging a channel near the western entrance to the Dome of the Rock ramp. The purpose of the dig was to exchange a sewage channel. We asked the police to stop the work, because it is illegal to do so with out archaeological inspection. They said that they are supervising it, and one of the policemen claimed that he is an archaeologist. After asking him a few questions I realized he was lying and knows nothing about archaeology.

25/09/03: A wall of a structure near the Islam museum in the Temple Mount compound has collapsed

For more details see Israel National News report.

Click here to see a picture of the collapse.

18/9/03: Temple Mount current status and updates

From new pictures from the Temple Mount it seems that the scale of the destruction in the recent years is larger that we thought. Many piles of ancient stones were seen, and it seems like many architectural remains were dismantled. The major Waqf construction these days is replacing a paving near the Islamic museum, which is authorized by the police. Unauthorized construction attempts that involve ancient structures were prevented by the police inspection on the Mount. It seems like the new police Minister, Zachi Hanegbi, really made a change in the police attitude.

12/8/03: New pictures taken by Yair Shalev from a visit 3 weeks show that many piles of rubble still exist on the Mount. See Shalev’s website.

9/7/03: An IAA committee of experts has reached the conclusion that the “Johash tablet” is a forgery.

 

1/6/03: There are evidence of new construction materials and heavy machinery that entered the mount

Some new construction materials and heavy machinery were recently seen entering the Mount. It seems that it has nothing to do with the renovation at the southern wall. A new construction location (mainly paving) is seen near the Islam Museum.

 

24-3-03: The Jordanian delegation has begun renovating the southern wall

This work mainly consists of replacing the stones at the area of the bulge. There is a fear that the Waqf will take advantage of the permits given to the Jordanian delegation, in order to smuggle in other construction materials for illegal construction.

 

13-11-02 Researchers hail dramatic First Temple period finding. See Article from Haaretz.

 

11-11-02: The Jordanian delegation: The Southern wall should be rebuilt

Haaretz correspondent, Nadav Shragai, has revealed this morning that the Jordanian engineers delegation has concluded that the upper section of the Southern Wall (The medieval courses – not the Herodian section) should be rebuild with modern construction techniques. In spite of that, they concluded that the wall is in no danger of collapse. The conclusion report was kept confidential, and for this reason it was not published in the media till now.

 

 

11-11-02: Ramadan Begins – Probability of Southern Wall collapse increases

Last Friday, 150,000 Muslims worshipers accented the mount for first Ramadan’s Friday prayers. The police hasn’t put any restrictions or limitations on the entrance of the worshipers, in spite of the danger of Southern Wall collapse. From conversations I had with some Muslim who participated the Friday’s prayers, the new ‘Marwani’ mosque in Solomon’s Stables was crowded with worshipers. They mentioned that no one fears from the collapse, because it is a great privilege to die in such a location, and in such circumstances.

 

13-10-02: A new bulge in the Western Wall

According to Jerusalem Post correspondent, E. Lefkovitz, a side section of the mount's western wall that shows signs of dampness has begun to protrude as well, and a 10m wide bulge has appeared just right to the Rambam (Mugrabi) Gate (Near the wailing wall). See Article.

13-10-02: Jordanian engineers began surveying the southern wall

Jordanian engineers last week drilled into the bulge in the southern wall of Temple Mount to take a sample for inspection after an informal agreement was reached between Israel and the Waqf, to let the Jordanians do the work. A sample from the drill will be handed to the IAA.

28-08-02: Following a CPDATM public letter to the PM, the issue of the Southern Wall bulge has reached the Government and media agenda

Earlier this week the CPDATM has sent an urgent letter to the PM requesting him to allow the appropriate authorities to take care of the on growing bulge in the Temple Mount southern wall. Neglecting such action may risk the lives of thousands of Muslim worshipers that attend the place every Friday morning. Surprisingly, the IAA has joined this call and criticized the government of preventing them from entering the mount and surveying the wall. The IAA, which is a governmental institution rarely protests against the Government.

The government has tried to negotiate with the Waqf authorities, but it abject any involvement of Israeli municipalities in issues regarding the Temple Mount. The PM is afraid to enforce any the Israeli sovereignty on the Mount, and the issue is neglected, and may result in a disaster, that will eventually put the blame on the State of Israel. Since the bulge is getting bigger every day and the a collapse of the wall may occur every day, the PM has got to a crucial point where he has to make a choice regarding the Israeli sovereignty of the Mount. See Jpost editorial article.

 

25-08-02: A massive Muslim youth incitement demonstration on the Mount – Waqf raise funds for work resume

On the last Saturday the Israeli Muslem movement has arranged a massive youth gathering on the Mount for an event, that was defined as the Koran quiz. The massive gathering turned into a brutal incitement demonstration, in which the Muslim Sheikhs were heard screaming through the speakers demanding to expel all Jews from Israel. Many small kids were seen wearing homicide terrorist costumes. The main objective of this event was to raise funds for continuing the Waqf construction in the Mount. It is most likely that in the near days we’ll be getting reports about the Waqf resuming the work on the mount that was recessed in the last months.

 

26-04-02: The Temple Mount is still closed to non-Muslims

For the last 20 months the Government of Israel is preventing non-Muslims to visit the Temple Mount. Since then, no archaeologists were allowed to visit the mount, in order to examine any further destruction. This is due to the Waqf demand that no religious Jews or Israeli politicians will be allowed to ascent the Mount. This demand came after opposition leader, Ariel Sharon (Today’s PM), has ascended to Mount against the Waqf’s will. According to Israeli law, only the to Muslim structures (Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa) on the Mount are considered holy shrines, in which the Waqf has the control. The rest of the Mount is a public area. Lately, the Muslim have begun to refer to the whole area as Al-Aqsa Mosque. Unfortunately, since then, the government of Israel has decided to totally give up the enforcement of the Israeli laws on the Temple Mount, in order not to have any conflicts with the Jerusalem Muslim population. In other words, IN ISRAEL VIOLENCE PAYS OFF, and this is the main reason why our country suffers, so much, from Terrorism.

26-03-02: Waqf fixing Temple Mount wall (See Jerusalem Post report)

08-02-02: Another truck seen entering the Temple Mount

 

Yesterday, another truck was seen entering the Temple Mount. In the last two months more than 10 trucks were counted entering the Temple Mount. The CPDATM has information that cement was recently smuggled into the Mount.

 

14-01-02: Hundreds encircle the mount in renewing an old tradition

Hundreds of Jews encircled the Mount last night in renewing an old medieval tradition of citing psalms songs at the gates of the Temple Mount. The event was a protest against the ban of Jews from entering the mount and against the daily antiquities destruction. This custom began to take place three months ago, in every first day on the Hebrew month. Last month more than 1500 people participated in the event!!!

 

14-01-02: A Bulldozer was seen working near “Solomon’s Stables”

Yesterday a Bulldozer was seen working near the new ‘monumental entrance’ north to the ‘Solomon’s Stables’ substructure. This event is a sharp contraction to the Police announcements that no more construction, not to speak about heavy machinery, will be allowed to take place on the Mount.

 

10-01-02: Police commander summoned to minister for clarifications

Police Minister, Uzi Landau, summoned the Police commander of the Old city of Jerusalem, for clarification regarding his reports on the Waqf construction on the Mount. This is due to the major discrepancies between his reports and the CPDATM claims. See 05-08-01 update.

 

01-01-02: Police Minister, Uzi Landau, directed police to dismantle the new paving north to the Dome of the Rock ramp.

Jerusalem police forced the Waqf authorities to dismantle the new paving near the Dome of the Rock Ramp. This is a precedent action in the Israeli government – Waqf relations in which the Israeli authorities manage to reverse actions done by the Waqf authorities.

 

12-01-02: Last month the CPDATM has sent a detailed letter to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, in which he is accused of neglecting the most important site in the history of Israel. The letter is signed by some prominent Israeli public figures.

 

27-12-01: New pictures prove police claims to be false

Click here to see the new pictures

 

11-12-01: Waqf Keeps On Building, Destroying The Temple Mount (Aruz7)

 

10-12-01: Plans for Husseini Memorial on the Temple Mount (Aruz7)

 

30-11-01: Israel Antiquities Officials Document Temple Mount Damage by Waqf (Aruz7)

 

20-11-01: Knesset Committee Hears of Moslem Plan To "Upgrade" Temple Mount Sanctity (Aruz7)

 

22-11-01: Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein: Antiquities Authority must resume oversight of Temple Mount (Haaretz)

20-11-01: A Large Truck was seen on the Temple Mount Today.

We presume that the truck was downloading new construction material. Some sources tell us that paving construction to be resume tonight on the Mount.

07-09-01: Waqf engineer claims that the Israeli authorities are constructing two new tunnels under the Solomon Stables substructure.

Read more details in Jerusalem Post report.

 

06-09-01: The Police have stopped a Waqf attempt to construct some more scaffolding outside the southern wall.

The Waqf tried to install scaffolding outside the walls at the foot of the southern wall. The police stopped the Waqf after two hours of work. It has been told that the IAA gave them permission to treat this wall. It is obvious that the primitive activity of cementing the swollen wall imply on the unserious attitude of the Israeli government allowing the Waqf to take care of such a serious engineering problem. Prime minister Sharon forgets that whenever this massive wall will fall on people’s head he will be the only one to be blamed. See Pictures.

 

31-08-01: Pictures of the new bulge in the southern wall are added to the website. Also see report from 05-08-01 below.

28-08-01: More underground construction

In the last week new construction took place in an ancient cistern (W2/G30), which is located in the northeastern part of the Dome of the rock platform. Above the entrance of this cistern some metal scaffolding was constructed in which an engine and a cable are attached to it. The Waqf is probably using this equipment to elevate buckets and other construction materials to the cistern. This is large cistern cut in the bedrock and measure 20m in length, 12m in width, and 14m deep. It is reported to be partly full of water. We have no idea what the Waqf is constructing inside the cistern, but it may be related to the recent underground work done in the Golden Gate. The police is not denying the existence of this construction. See pictures. See also Aruz7 report.

 

28-08-01: Construction renewed on/in the Temple Mount

In the last two weeks many new paving stones where entered to the mount. New Pictures will be published soon.

 

05-08-01: The chief of the Jerusalem Old City police station, Nisan Shaham, is concealing information about what is happening on the Temple Mount

The website editor has been told that the substantial discrepancies between the information reaching the archeological committee, and the claims of the police, result from the policy of Old City police chief, Nisan Shaham. Shaham was recently appointed to his current position after serving for some considerable time as the police officer responsible for the Temple Mount. Shaham's policy is to maintain peace on the Temple Mount as far as possible, even if this involves failing to enforce the law. In other words, peace is more important to him than the law. For this reason he does not supply his superiors with all the information in his possession regarding what is happening on the Mount. He also provides a distorted interpretation of the archeological damage caused by the work and completely ignores violations of the municipal planning and building laws. This also explains why Shaham is frequently to be seen hugging and kissing the Waqf personnel when he enters the Temple Mount area.

 

05-08-01: The southern wall of the Temple Mount is in danger of collapse.

As a result of the work in Solomon's Stables, work performed not only in the absence of archeological inspection, but also without any inspection by or authorization from the building and inspection branch of the Jerusalem Municipality, a convex protuberance has appeared in the southern wall. This protuberance has become more serious recently and presents a danger of collapse. The building engineers employed by the Moslem Waqf are attempting to find solutions and have commenced work aimed at preventing the collapse of the wall in the future.

 

29-07-01 (9th of Av): Construction and Destruction continues inside the mount

In contrast to the directions given by Interior security Minister, volunteer workers of the Islamic movement continue to arrive to the Temple Mount every Saturday. The last Saturday 60 workers were doing construction work in the underground chambers of the Golden gate. The police keeps out of that area and has no idea of the amount of destruction there.

22-07-01: Congressman Eric Cantor (R-Virginia) introduces the Temple Mount Preservation Act

It is a Legislation that would stop American taxpayer sponsorship of the erosion of Judeo-Christian heritage in Jerusalem. Click here for more details.

17-07-01: MKs call for inquiry into Temple Mount construction (Jerusalem Post)

13-07-01: Internal Security Minister directed the police not to permit any kind of construction on the Mount

Member of the CPDATM met on Friday morning with internal security minister Uzi Landau. They showed him new aerial pictures in which tractors are seen in work. Landau told them he gave directions to stop any kind of construction on the Mount. Lets just hope these directions will really take place.

06-07-01: The CPDATM has published new pictures proofing destruction continuing in the last months.

In contrast to the claims of the Prime Minister office and the police, which say that in the last two month there is no construction on the Temple Mount, the CPDATM pictures proof otherwise. The pictures show a huge stone saw that in the last months has being constantly working and destroying ancient stones. IAA Jerusalem district archaeologist J. Seligman said to the Jerusalem Post that "These are not stones from the Byzantine period, but stones that have been lying around”. This response puts in question the policy of the IAA to the whole issue. Not only the CPDATM is doing the IAA work in monitoring the construction and altering the Government and the public, but the IAA has constantly been minimizing the claims of the CPDATM. This is done while the IAA has no archaeological inspection on the Temple Mount. How can Seligman know from which period are these stones are? What kind of claim is it that says these are just stones that are lying around. All stones on the Mount have a very long history.

 

05-07-01: Waqf has begun "cleaning" ancient cisterns

The newspaper of the Islamic movement reported that the Waqf has begun a new project of "cleaning" the ancient cisterns on the Mount. The Palestine Exploration Fund in the 19th century surveyed these cisterns and various scholars dated many of them to the Second Temple period. Some of them are thought to be rituals baths or water reservations. These cisterns contain ancient debris that has accumulated in them. If this debris will be removed without archaeological inspection we will never be able to date these cisterns in the future.

01-07-01: In The last two month the construction on the mount has been done on a small scale. This is due to heavy pressure and restrictions that the Government of Israel has put on the Waqf authorities.

14-06-01: A large stone saw is cutting ancient stones

Tractors are continuing construction work without any archaeological inspection, and a large stone saw there works non-stop, cutting dozens of ancient stones into slabs used for the new paving and construction on the Temple Mount. This probably indicates a new policy of the Waqf’s authority as a responds to the fact the police prevents the entrance of construction materials to the Mount. See pictures.

20-05-01: New pictures from the Temple Mount show removal of Eastern Vault

08-05-01: Listen to CJAM 91.5 FM on Thursday morning

On Thursday CJAM (Windsor, Ont. Canada) radio station will have a special show at 8AM-9AM regarding the Temple Mount and the Archaeological destruction. For those of you that are not in Windsor or Detroit area it can be heard via the net at http://www.uwindsor.ca/cjam/live.ram

 

27-04-01: Israel cancels UNESCO tour to the Temple Mount

Read more about in Jerusalem Post recent articles.

 

22-04-01: Temple Mount artifacts looted

According to New York Post correspondent pirates are brazenly digging up Jewish artifacts from the holy Temple Mount site and trying to sell them on the black market for as much as $1 million. Among them are two ostrakons (pottery shards with ink inscriptions) that date from around 700 B.C.E. One of them mentions the name "Jerusalem," and refers to a struggle over it. The other mentions Ein Rogel, a small hill within the city limits where the Jewish kings of Judea were crowned. Read more about this in Uri Dan’s article.

17-04-01: The Author of this website is being put on trial following a political vendetta by the Antiquities Authority

The Trial will begin this Sunday (22/4/01) in which I am charged in damaging an archaeological site. These charges come after an investigation done by the IAA, in which many different means where used in order to bring me to court. It began immediately after an annual conference of the Ingeborg Rennert Center for Jerusalem Studies at Bar-Ilan University, in which I first published an account of the archaeological destruction on the Temple Mount (see The Story behind the survey). Following this, my flat was raided and searched by the IAA theft unit, and I was taken to the police station for inquiry. I was charged with illegally collecting archaeological artifacts from archaeological sites (The Kidron Valley and a cave near Beit Shemesh).

Because of public criticism they dropped the charge regarding my activity for rescuing the Temple Mount antiquities and left the charge regarding my actions in the cave. This is a rare case, in which a person that is not an antiquities thief; did not cause any archaeological damage; did not take any valuable archaeological artifacts, and did not find anything special, is being brought to court on the charge of antiquities theft. All this is done, while the only man who may have violated the law, is listed as a prosecution witness. In Israel real antiquities theft is taking place on a large scale, but because of the lack of adequate resources, the IAA cannot handle this phenomenon adequately. It appears that in my case the IAA has suddenly found the necessary resources in order to bring me to court. Every thing that was done in this investigation was out of all proportion. The fact that I took a few small sherds which are of no intrinsic value does not make me an antiquities thief. In addition to this, the IAA theft unit has spread rumors about me being a known antiquities thief for several years. THIS IS AN OUTRIGHT LIE. This was done in order to get moral support from their colleagues in the IAA offices.

 

The only thing left to say is that the ordinary citizen should reach the conclusion that every action done to expose the real truth regarding the Temple Mount, will be followed by action of the state authorities against him.

 

03-04-01: The supreme court rejected today the CPDATM petition by suggesting that it should be pulled back, because of the fact that the names of Ariel Sharon and Uzi Landau appear in the list of the petitioners. But these names only appear a year ago in a letter sent to the former PM, while the current petition to the court was applied after Sharon was elected to prime minister. Dr. Mazar has criticized the court piercingly by accusing them of evading their major responsibility, which is to take care the government is maintaining the law, and not leaving the enforcement of the law to the political agenda of the government.

08-03-01: THE CPDATM petitioned to the supreme court against the Temple Mount Archaeological Destruction (see 28-02-01).

06-03-01: The Police has admitted that severe archaeological damage was recently done by the Waqf authority.

02-03-01: PM Barak and IAA awaken

Following an urgent letter from the director of the Antiquities Authority to the prime minister the Police was ordered to tell the Waqf to stop the destruction on the Temple Mount. Officials in the PM office accused the Police of not reporting the PM on time about whole picture of the ongoing archaeological destruction on the Mount.

28-02-01: The CPDATM is preparing a comprehensive petition to the Supreme Court. This petition will be against the Prime Minister, Interior Minister, Justice Minster, Attorney General, Minister of Jerusalem Affairs, Israeli Police Chief of Staff, Israeli Police, Muslim Waqf, Israeli Antiquities Authority and Jerusalem Municipality. All of these institutions are charged of not doing enough to prevent the Archaeological Destruction.

28-02-01: Destruction Continues – Eastern Vault Seriously Damaged

In the last weeks every Saturdays hundreds of volunteers of the Islamic Movement arrive to the Temple Mount in order to help with the Waqf construction. In the last week the most eastern vault that survived the digging in November 99 was removed or seriously damaged (See the first picture in the MKs Tour).

02-02-01: Court orders review of Temple Mount excavations (Jpost)
31-01-01: The Waqf has prepared an additional large area for pavement: The CPDATM has wrote a letter to Prime Minister, Ehud Barak, in which they call to immediately halt the construction that is done on the Temple Mount. This is due to a new aerial photo (updated to the 30-01-01) that shows a new area of approximately 1000sqr that has been prepared for pavement. This is done without no archaeological inspection, and enormously exceeds the previous authorization of the PM, which allows them to pave an area up to 200sqr. The letter is signed by the following members: Teddi Kolek – former mayor of Jerusalem, Amos OZ – famous writer, Moshe Landau – former supreme court president, Meir Shamgar – former supreme court president.

 

31-01-01: It appears that the video that was shown on IBA news was taken by Yusif Sa'id an-Natsheh, which is an archaeologist hired by the Waqf.

 

28-01-01: 'Antiquities Now' Demonstration: There is a new 'watchdog' organization named 'Antiquities Now'. They are planning a demonstration against the pillage in the Temple Mount on Tuesday morning. For more information check out http://www.antiquitiesnow.com

 

28-01-01: A unique video of Old-Al-Aqsa

IBA TV news has broadcast a unique video taken from within the Temple Mount. This video can be seen at: pnm://media3.netvision.net.il/reshet/yomantv.rm (it starts at minute 34:00. RealAudio player (www.real.com) is necessary to view it). This video was taken on the 24th on this month. It has a high historical value, because it is the first time video pictures document the area of the Old-Al-Aqsa mosque, and the Double Gates passageways that are dated to the Second Temple era. This area has been turned into a new mosque in the recent years. The entrance to this place with a video camera was probably coordinated with the Waqf authorities, because it is improbable that one will discretely do it, while the mosques are guarded by Waqf men. This video takes us to a water cistern that was never documented before. It is the cistern the CPDATM has claimed to be the location where the tunnel is being dug. From the pictures of this video the cistern looks very amorphous in its form, and has many holes, and small chambers. It is impossible to know from these pictures, if there is a digging of a new tunnel. Unfortunately the news commentator tried to use this video as proof that the CPDATM is spreading lies and there is no new construction on the Temple Mount.

 

24-01-01: Chief rabbis decry reputed Temple Mount digging (Jpost)

24-01-01: Major controversy about the new tunnel

The last two days the Israeli media was trying to find out the truth about the information of the new tunnel in the Temple Mount. The police is insisting there is no such thing. In order to prove their claims they have invited prof. Amos Kloner from the CPDATM and famous author Haim Guri to go check out for themselves. After exiting the new underground mosque in Old-Al-Aqsa, they said they haven’t seen a new tunnel. Prof. Kloner said this doesn’t mean there is no such thing. The CPDATM still insists that there is a tunnel. We have 3 witnesses who saw it last week and some more proofs that cannot be revealed at this stage. Even Dani Zakan, Israeli National Radio reporter, has managed, somehow, to visit this area last week, and saw the tunnel with his own eyes. He saw its entrance in an old cistern, and noticed a cable with light bulbs installed inside the tunnel. It appears that the Police is nave (or choose to be nave) about this issue. The police is refusing to acknowledge that they are dealing with a “cuning” Muslim authority on the Mount, which should never be trusted by its word. The police has never done a real inspection on the mount, because it was always coordinated with the Waqf. We presume the Waqf is currently hiding the entrance to this tunnel.

 

23-01-01: See Haaretz reports for more details about the controversy of the recent events on the Temple Mount.

22-01-01: The Archaeological Destruction reach new peaks

 

NEW DIG AROUND THE DOME OF THE ROCK: Last Sunday, a tractor dug a new trench. Its length is about 35m and its depth about 60cm. This digging was done on the Dome of the Rock ramp, and may have damaged an ancient floor. The level of the bedrock in this area is very close to the current floor level. We have no idea what was destroyed as a result of this digging, because there are no inspections on the Temple Mount by any authority. The purpose of this dig was to install a new pipe system. The last time such a dig was conducted in this area was in 1976. In that dig an ancient massive wall was revealed. Some scholars identified it as a remain of one the walls of the Second Temple.

 

(A picture taken by the Police of the recent construction on the Dome of the Rock ramp)

 

A NEW UNDERGROUND TUNNEL IS DUG: The CPDATM has got some 'founded proof' about a new tunnel between Solomon's Stables and the ruins of the ancient Al Aqsa Mosque the Waqf has recently dug. The entrance to this tunnel was seen in an ancient cistern, which is tangent to the southern wall of the Mount and to the eastern wall of the double gate passage. In this area the pilgrims used to accent the Mount through the Hulda Gates in the Second Temple era. Many remains from the Second Temple era still exists there, we do not know what was destroyed by the recent construction in the underground chambers nor what will be destroyed by the construction of this new tunnel. The police are denying this information, but the police have proven to be unreliable since the beginning of the Waqf construction on the Mount. The Police have no access to the underground constructions, so there is no way to confirm the information.

 

 

21-01-01: Waqf announces halt in Temple Mount construction.

21-01-01: Leading Israelis protest against Temple Mount construction.

11-01-01: Israeli national TV news reporter, Bennie Liss, has managed to secret a hidden camera inside the Temple Mount. In a special news report, he reveals the illegal construction occurring these days on the Mount. The IAA archaeologists, indeed any other authority are totally prohibited from entering the Mount or inspecting the construction. The authorities have no knowledge of the extent of archaeological destruction. Because of Waqf demands, the police is forbidden flights above the mount at a height under 7000m. Liss has revealed the new dumping location, which is in the center of west Jerusalem. The new debris is similar in texture to the debris in the Kidron.

04-01-01: We are now confident that the gate jamb fragment that was recovered by the IAA from the debris in the Kidron valley, is dated to the Second Temple Era, and may even be a remnant of one of the gates of the Second Temple!!.

04-01-01: A new sketch of the recent destruction is added to the website. Check out the main page.

03-01-01: SUSPICOUS ACTIVITY ON THE MOUNT

Last night the lights on the Mount were deliberately shut off for over an hour. This was the first time such a thing occurred since the installation of new illumination a few years ago.

 

 

15-12-00: THE DESTRUCTIVE DIGS ARE RENEWED (New updates from the Temple Mount)

 

Since the Palestinian riots have occurred, Israelis have no access to the Temple Mount. This has caused us some difficulties of being updated about what has been going on in the Mount the recent weeks. The following information has reached the CPDATM from reliable sources, and unfortunately, shed a very dark light on the archaeological situation of the Temple Mount:

 

                New diggings have occurred in the last few weeks. A channel 1m deep, and 3-4m wide was dug northwest from the ‘Solomon’s stables’ structure.

                3 days ago, a JCB tractor has entered the Mount with 7 more trucks.

                The new terrace system in the new mosque entrance, north to Solomon’s stables, has also been paved.

                At least 70 trucks were counted leaving the Temple Mount with archaeological debris.

                There is also construction inside the Golden gate.

                Prime Minister of Israel, Ehud Barak, has authorized the Waqf to pave another 200sqr. Last time he authorized the pavement of an area of 2700sqr, the Waqf has paved and area of 4000sqr.

                Lots of blocks, cement and other construction materials has been brought to the Mount.

                The IAA and the A-G relate to the recent Waqf activities very severely. They cannot do anything about it, because their hands are tied by the PM, who chooses not to prevent the archaeological destruction. The PM has authorized the Waqf to have 6 trucks on the Mount per day. In spite of this, the Palestinian newspapers report that Israel is preventing them from entering construction materials into the Mount.

                Since the riots have erupted, even the IAA archaeologists are banned from entering the Mount. There is an agreement with the Waqf that they can accompany the trucks existing the Mount to the dumping location.

                The CPDATM has sent urgent applications to the Prime Minister, but they are constantly being ignored. The CPDATM has announced to the Attorney General that if the government of Israel will not act to enforce the antiquities law in the Temple Mount, they will apply to the Supreme Court.

 

 

12-12-00: Again, 6 trucks were seen evacuating earth from the Temple Mount. (See report on Aruz7)

13-11-00: While all eyes are to the riots all over Israel, the Waqf continues its unsupervised construction on the Temple Mount, destroying more antiquities. Underground rooms in the Solomon’s stables, Old-Al-Aqsa and in underground halls near the western wall has been “cleaned” from ancient debris that contains archaeological artifacts. The eastern surface of the Mount looks like a dumpsite now.

03-9-00: This site will not have news updates about the riots the Palestinians are doing in the recent days. These riots have nothing to do with the archaeology of the Temple Mount, and with MK Sharon visit to the Temple Mount. It began 2 days before this visit. If Israel’s “siege” on the Temple Mount (see 21-9-00 report) did not cause any riots, Sharon’s visit is surely not the real cause for it.

28-9-00: The Temple Mount or Haram As-Sharif (MK Sharon visits the Temple Mount)

(IsraelWire-9/28-09:25-DST) The Thursday morning visit to Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, or Haram As-Sharif as it is called by the Arab population, was marred when Arabs began hurling stones and other objects at the delegation as it was leaving as well as at security forces.

21-9-00: For the last 8 days, Israel is preventing the entrance of construction materials to the Temple Mount. This is a rare decision for the Government of Israel’s policy. Till now, any attempt to do so did not last more than 2 days. The background for this decision is the Waqf’s plan to pave another large area in additional to the 1600 square meters that was already paved. The Waqf is complaining that Israel is putting a siege on the Mount, and threats that this may bring the whole area to a conflict.

3-9-00: Biblical Archaeology Review has published some new pictures, covering the destruction on the Temple Mount. In one of these picture stratified layer can be easily seen, which is another proof that this dig did not remove just a late earth fill.

 

29-8-00: We need help in Saving the Temple Mount antiquities

The project of sifting the debris from the Temple Mount is advancing. The Archaeologist who will lead this project is Dr. Gabi Barkai from Bar-Ilan university. Unfortunately, we still lack the financial  resources for this. We need to raise a sum of about 40,000$, but, till now, we have managed to raise only a small part of it from a few donors. This is why we are now addressing the public, in a plea for contributions of any amount. We promise to publish a list of all the donors (unless they wish otherwise) and send a full report of the finds to each one of them. Click here for more details.

 

23-8-00: Now you can also read the recent news in Hebrew.

23-8-00: Over 2000 people from all over the world, have already signed the petition.

23-8-00: A special meeting took place at State Attorney General, Elyakim Rubinstein, office regarding the Waqf request to pave an area of 2 dunams. The fact that the Waqf is now applying requests to the Israeli authority in advance is an achievement of the CPDATM. In this meeting, ways of how to approve these requests were discussed.

23-8-00: The CPDATM members have met last week with Minister of Israeli Society and the World Jewish Community, Rabbi Michael Melchior. They requested his help in setting up a meeting with the Prime Minister. Melchior spokesmen told the CPDATM today that the PM, the Minister of Internal Security and Minister of Justice are denying the CPDATM claims regarding the Waqf's recent activity on the Mount. They said that nothing has occurred on the Temple Mounted in the last months.

23-8-00: The following public figures and archaeologists have recently joined the CPDATM: (Gen.) Dan Shomron - former IDF Chief of Staff, Prof. Uriel Reichman, Prof. Amos Kloner - Bar-Ilan University Archaeologist and member of the Israeli Archaeology council, Prof. Moshe Kocavi - Hebrew University Archaeologist and member of the Israeli Archaeology council, Prof. Eliezer Oren - Ben-Gurion University Archaeologist.

16-7-00: I had a conversation with policemen from the police spot on the road entrance to the Temple Mount near the Lion's gate. They said that they usually don't permit trucks to enter the old city, but trucks that go to the Temple Mount have a special permit from the police high officers. The last truck that they remember entering the Temple Mount was a week and a half ago. They also said that two weeks ago they were directed to prevent trucks and heavy machinery from entering the Temple Mount. This situation managed to exist for about 2 days, but due to heavy pressure from the Waqf's authorities they had to restore the previous permit of allowing heavy machinery to enter the Mount.

16-7-00: I've visited the Rockefeller museum (IAA main offices) and found the architectural marble stone in the backyard. Check out the updated page about this stone.

09-7-00: Correction: A few people who read the article mentioned below (7-7-00) have put to my attention the possibility of a misunderstanding. Drori may have referred to the new entrance when he said 'monumental gate'. I've talked to Kobi Finkler, the journalist, and he backs up what he has wrote. He told me that Drori even showed him a picture of the gate and it has nothing to do with the archways of Solomon's stables. He will check this out with Drori for more details.

09-7-00: A New aerial picture from Chai Vekayam movement reveals further construction plans. More trees where uprooted in a further west area.

07-7-00: "On last December dig - A monumental gate that stood in the site was breached" - says IAA director, Amir Drori, on an interview to the weekly newspaper Makor Rishon. This is the first time Drori has given any details about what does the IAA know about the archaeological destruction from the Waqf's dig north of the 'Solomon's Stables'. Evidence to this gate is a carved fragment of an architrave or a doorjamb found in the Temple Mount debris in the Kidron valley by the IAA. See 17-5-00 for a pictures.

07-7-00: In the last week heavy renovation work is done in Al-Aqza mosque. Earlier this week heaps of slab stones were seen near the mosque. These slabs were moved and concentrated south from the Golden Gate. The current Al-Aqza mosque was build in the 11-12 century CE, on top of the earlier mosque that was ruined in the 1033 earthquake. This makes us date the slabs to the 11-12 century CE.

07-7-00: We are calling senior archaeologists from other countries to join the CPDATM, and sign our petition. Foreign scholars support could really help our struggle to save the Temple Mount's antiquities.

07-7-00: I got 2 new reports about construction south of the Dome of the Rock's platform stairs. One report from Monday says it was just a little renovation in one of the stairs. The second, which is updated to yesterday, says piles of earth are seen in that location. More details to come.

02-7-00: Additional public figures and archaeologists joined the CPDATM. The current members of the CPDATM are:

Archaeologists: Prof. Avraham Biran, Prof. Amihai Mazar, Prof. Ehud Nezer, Dr. Eilat Mazar, Dr. Gabriel Barkai, Dr. Zeev Meshel. Other members: Teddy Kolek, Chaim Guri, A.B. Yehoshua, Yzhar Smilansky, Prof. Avi Revitzky, (Gen.) Meir Dagan, Zvi Zamir, Ytzchak Chopi, Yoram Yair, Shlomo Lahat, Attr. Shmuel Berkovitz, Michael Gal, Israel Caspi, Dr. Orit Zur.

02-7-00: The few archaeological data we could achieve from the dumps in the Kidron, is now also in a hazard. Eilat Mazar, a few archaeology students and me went to visit the dumps in Kidron. Check a new page about the new Kidron Dumps.

02-7-00: PM Ehud Barak has reacted to an urgent application of the CPDATM regarding the expected digging for sewage concrete pipe installations. We still don't know which decisions he will take.

02-7-00: Huge section of concrete pipe"As I ascended the Temple Mount this morning at 9:30 AM, I immediately noticed a tractor working along the eastern side of the Mount. In addition to all of the activity, construction, and building materials that I have already described, this morning I also saw a huge section of concrete pipe, the type that is used in major municipal waterworks projects and buried very deep. I also saw that work was being done with heavy-duty steel plumbing pipes. I could clearly see portions of pipe that had been freshly laid in the area. I also saw a section of plastic casing which is used to contain electrical wiring." , A report from Chaim Richman who is now constantly visiting the Temple Mount.

29-6-00: We need assistance with translations of documents from Hebrew to English and English to Hebrew. Please Contact me if you can help with this.

29-6-00: An excellent editorial article in the Jerusalem Post.

29-6-00: Taking Aerial photos from above the Temple Mount is now also forbidden.

29-6-00: An excellent article written by Nadav Shragai from Haaretz newspaper.

29-6-00: "Yesterday, while walking along the eastern side of the Temple Mount, from south to north, all the evidence of major construction were clearly present. The area is in complete disarray; large portions have been cleared and leveled. Several structures are already in advanced stages of construction; new paving is underway and everywhere, there are large heaps of rubble which clearly contain significant archeological remains. As I had noticed on my visit the previous week, large consignments of construction blocks have been delivered to the site. However, yesterday as I was walking I also saw a large amount of brand-new, long plumbing pipes, the type that is used to lay the plumbing and water systems in large buildings. There were enough pipes there to facilitate the plumbing for a very large structure." Says Chaim Richman who visited the Temple Mount yesterday. The most disturbing evidence is the pipes, because this means more diggings!.

28-6-00: A small Demonstration near the Lion's gate, against the Waqf's destruction of Temple Mount took place today. The demonstrators were attacked by a mob of 150 Moslems who were organized by the Moslem Waqf on the mount. They tore their signs and beaten them. The police arrested 5 men.

28-6-00: The meeting at the Prime Minister office ended up in an Orwellian statement released after the meeting, the Prime Minister's Office declared that Barak remained committed to "preserving the status quo and preventing archeological damage." National Security Adviser Danny Yatom later explained that Barak's idea of "status quo" was not to prevent the Waqf from continuing its unsupervised construction. (I don't understand how the current destruction can be called "Status Quo"?)

28-6-00: For over a week the CPDATM has been sending urgent applications to the Prime Minister. The PM office is refusing to relate to these applications in any way.

28-6-00: Illegal Temple Mount construction continues : Destruction described as devastating

28-6-00: Biblical Archaeology Review is now covering the Destruction on the Mount with a call for help.

28-6-00: PM calls urgent meeting on Temple Mount construction

28-6-00: A new Hebrew article by Eilat Mazar that well expresses the Archaeological Atrocity.

27-6-00: Tractors and trucks are working on the Mount. A large area is being prepared for pavement construction.

26-6-00: A big cloud of dust was seen today between 18:30-19:30, while a tractor near the Golden Gate was doing construction work. We still don't know exactly what was done there. The CPDATM has urgently applied to Prime Minister, Ehud Barak, to immediately stop the construction.

26-6-00: Aerial Photos -Check out these new aerial photos taken 8 days ago.

26-6-00: The Committee for the Prevention of the Destruction of Antiquities on the Temple Mount met with the State Attorney General, Elyakim Rubinstein. The A-G agreed that the situation on the Temple Mount is most severe. He said that some action to prevent further building had been taken, and more actions will be taken in the future. He directed the police not to allow the entrance of more construction materials. Surprisingly, the A-G was not aware of the media coverage prohibition, and said that there is no law that can base that. See Haaretz / Jerusalem Post reports.

26-6-00: Famous writers sent a letter to PM Barak demanding to stop the destruction on the Temple Mount. See Haaretz report.

23-6-00: A-G holds off acting against Waqf Temple Mount construction

23-6-00: Now you can watch the pictures from the MKs tour with English comments.

22-6-00: State Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein will on Thursday meet with senior police commanders and members of the General Security Service (GSS/Shin Bet) to evaluate the situation.

22-6-00: Thanks to Chaim Richman's awareness we realize now that Several new ornamental skylights, fashioned of metal and glass, have recently been affixed in the floor over the area where an underground mosque has been established in Solomon's Stables. Click here to view them.

22-6-00: Now you can view some of the pictures I've taken on the tour. Click here to view them with Hebrew comments. More pictures to come.

21-6-00: Some of the pictures from the last tour can be seen on Aruz7. I will publish a more detailed page in a few days.

20-6-00: The IAA has sent an urgent letter to the Attorney General, warning on immediate danger to the section near the eastern wall of the Temple Mount. It is a section of a vault that is continuing north from the Solomon's Stables. In the last days the Waqf has begun disassembling this section. It can be seen in the pictures that will be published here in a few days. An archaeological excavation in this vault can teach us a lot about the area north from Solomon's Stables.

20-6-00: The MKs tour was a major disappointed. The media was not allowed to join us. We could not enter the subterranean structures in order to examine the amount of construction there. We were not allowed to take any pictures. The Waqf's men caught me taking pictures. The Old city police commander, Raa'nan Tal, attacked me. He pushed me and threaten to expel me out of the Mount. The Waqf has managed to hide most of the construction materials that were seen in the video. The new pictures will be published in a few days.

19-6-00: The website is now partly available in Hebrew.

19-6-00: The MKs tour will take place on Tuesday. We are going to ascent the mount with cameras to document the destruction. I hope things won't blow up in the last minute. IAA director and Jerusalem's district police commander will also join the tour.

 

18-6-00: Islamic Movement planning 4th mosque for Temple Mount

The Islamic Movement in Israel has a master plan to build a fourth mosque on the eastern side of the Temple Mount, according to a detailed report prepared by security officials concerning how the Waqf (Islamic religious trust) and the Islamic Movement envision the holy site. The construction of the mosque is a long-term plan which is currently only in the discussion stage, unlike the other plans outlined in the report.
More on the issue (English/Hebrew).

 

18-6-00: THIS TIME IT IS REALLY A DISASTER.

I've just seen an amateur video taken a week ago in the new construction area. There is an enormous amount of construction with big masonry stones. The whole east side of the temple mount has become a construction area. Again, trucks are seen entering and existing the mount. There are many new piles of earth. This time it is really a disaster. The new planned construction area is right on the remains of our Temple (According to the tradional conjecture, which places the holy of hollies at the Dome of the Rock). (Pictures will be published soon)

 

18-6-00: The IAA and the CPDATM has agreed to cooperate together.

15-6-00: The Committee for the Prevention of the Destruction of Antiquities on the Temple Mount will meet today with IAA Director, Amir Drori.

15-6-00: It seems like a group of MKs will join together next week for a tour on the Temple Mount that will include documenting the recent construction and the archaeological relics that are kept on the Mount.

15-6-00: Inspection of Temple Mount works is stopped by police.

13-6-00: Reliable sources say that additional trucks were seen entering and existing the Mount.

13-6-00: The Temple Institute of Jerusalem has produced a film which documents the archeological destruction and sacrilege of the Temple Mount. This video is called "Reviving the Stones: The Story of Israel's Unfinished Struggle to Claim the Temple Mount." It contains exclusive interviews and footage, and exposes the reality of the Temple Mount today. For information on ordering this video directly from the Temple Institute, contact them at temple@temple.org.il

12-6-00: The Media is also reporting about the new construction near the Golden gate. Pictures that were taken a month ago show the construction materials that were prepared for this.

12-6-00: Check out IMRA's translation of the Committee for the Prevention of the Destruction of Antiquities on the Temple Mount letter published in Haaretz (8-6-00).

12-6-00: Minister for Jerusalem Affairs Haim Ramon met with The Committee for the Prevention of the Destruction of Antiquities on the Temple Mount. Ramon said that the construction is in it's end and there is nothing much that could be done now. He also said that he will not let the Waqf cross any 'red lines'. However he was not aware that IAA archaeologist are not allowed to document or take pictures on the Mount.

11-6-00: The 'Committee for the Prevention of the Destruction of Antiquities on the Temple Mount' has published a big add in Haaretz daily newspaper. The add contained a petition directed to Israel's Prime Minister to stop the antiquities destruction on the Mount. 80 Knesset Members have signed this petition and many other famous public figures. Don't forget to add your name to the petition too.

10-6-00: I was just reported that a new paving construction on the North-Eastern section of the Mount. Updates will come soon.

17-5-00: Yehuda Ezion managed to get pictures of artifacts found in an examination done by the IAA in the debris dumped in the Kidron Valley. The pictures show an impressive large stone fragment, which was part of a gate jamb. According to archaeologist, Professor Ronnie Reich, the profile of this stone is very similar to part of the gate jamb in the Triple Gate at the southern wall of the Temple Mount, which is dated to the Second Temple Era. Click here to view the stone.

 

Near the Rambam (Mugrabi) gate, which is the tourist's entrance to the Mount, a group of 10 pottery jars are easily seen. I have no idea where they came from and if the reason they are standing there is for display or just for temporary storage. According to the jars shapes, none of them can be dated to an ancient period.

The pit, which became an entrance to a large mosque, is almost done. The floor is already covered with stairs. This situation makes it almost impossible to have a rescue dig in the near future.

Many piles of stones are still kept on the Mount. Some of them have significant archaeological value. We are still trying to get permission for archaeologists to examine them. Click here to see new pictures from the recent construction.

The IAA is not publishing the finds of their examination in the Kidron dumps, but I have a brief report of their results and I will soon publish it on this site. Meanwhile you can read Tamar's Hausman summary in the Jerusalem Post.

Following to our application, the Minister of Internal Defense has ordered the police to prevent trucks from entering the Temple Mount. Unfortunately this doesn't apply for tractors that are still seen working on the Mount.

There are some more media news reports that I occasionally add to the site. Check out 'The Destruction in the News'.

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