On the one hand, we know that over the years, the Waqf and other Islamic bodies have been engaged in seeking to destroy any remains from earlier Jewish periods on the Temple Mount. For example, this is from 2007;
...Israeli archeologists complained Wednesday that the government was not doing enough to protect Jewish artifacts from building work by the Muslim Waqf, which controls the Temple Mount. "The Waqf has acted terribly, taking thousands of tons of artifacts from the First Temple, the Second Temple, as well as Muslim artifacts, and throwing them away," Dr Eilat Mazor, from the Hebrew University, told Ynetnews. "They want to turn the whole of the Temple Mount into a mosque for Muslims only. They don't care about the artifacts or heritage on the site."
A recently revealed Israeli State Comptroller’s report that remains under a government gag order has ignited concern over the Muslim Waqf’s attempts to erase Jewish ties on the Temple Mount—Judaism’s holiest site—and Israeli authorities’ neglect of those activities. The classified document, whose contents were published by the New York-based newspaper The Jewish Voice, details ongoing illegal excavations being carried out on the Temple Mount by the Muslim Waqf (trust) and places blame on those responsible for overseeing the site—namely the Israel Antiquities Authority, the Jerusalem Municipality, and the Israeli police. The report suggests that those Israeli bodies have been turning a blind eye to the damage caused by the Waqf pertaining to ancient Jewish archeological findings.
On the other hand, we know that the Muslims seek to deny there ever was a Temple or that the city was historically Jewish. The Jerusalem Affairs advisor to Mahmoud Abbas Ahmed Al-Ruweidi, has accused Israel of "attempting to create an artificial Jewish heritage at the expense of the city’s [original] identity". They quote Israeli archaeologists, like Israel Finkelstein, to suggest the Temple of Solomon is simply "alleged" quoting him that there is no archaeological evidence to prove it really existed.
Yesterday, I attended the Yad Ben-Tzvi conference on Jerusalem and Dr. Yuval Baruch showed us of the finds he observed while supervising Waqf excavations done to lay water pipes and electric lines on the Temple Mount near the raised platform area: I snapped a few:
- a foundation of a building
- some of the 6th century BCE (on the eve of the First Temple's destruction) pottery artifacts.
Yes, there are archaeological remains and they seem to be Jewish in addition to other periods and all we need to do is dig.
And dig we must.