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Daily Israel Report

Remnants of the Second Temple Being Destroyed by Islamic Wakf

A large trench being dug on the Temple Mount is destroying a never before uncovered section of the outer wall of the Second Temple.
By Hana Levi Julian and Alex Traiman
First Publish: 9/3/2007, 2:20 PM / Last Update: 9/4/2007, 2:20 PM

A large trench being dug on the Temple Mount is destroying a never before uncovered section of the outer wall of the Second Temple. The construction is being supervised by the Wakf—the Muslim Authority acting as custodians to the Temple Mount.

Israeli archeologists have been calling for construction to halt on the trench, which is approximately 1,300 feet long and five feet deep.  The Wakf claims the trench is being dug to replace 40-year-old electrical cables for nearby mosques.

Muslims dig a trench across the temple mount destroying ancient artifacts
Photo: The Temple Movement

New photos of construction debris from the Temple Mount show carved stones casually dumped in a pile that appear to be a section of the outer wall of the Second Temple, according to archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar. 

According to Rabbi Chaim Richman, International Director of the Temple Institute, the Wakf is intentionally digging in areas where "undoubtedly the Temple once stood."  "For the first time since the Temple's destruction, a section of the Temple Wall itself has been exposed," Richman said.  "And the Wakf under the guise of laying down electrical pipes has dug a trench, destroying the most important holy artifact ever found to date."



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Richman contends that the Temple remains are being "purposely destroyed with no supervision," calling the government's tolerance of the construction "complicit cooperation."

According to a report by WorldNetDaily, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert personally gave permission for bulldozers, steam shovels and other heavy equipment to be used to dig the trench.

Israel Police look on as Muslim tractor destroys Temple treasures
The Temple Movement

"This is an extraordinarily serious offense," Richman states.  "A corrupt, spiritually bankrupt government is allowing Judaism's holiest site to be trashed because of political agreements to officially hand over the Temple Mount to the Palestinian Authority.  Jews in Israel and abroad are asleep, and have not awakened to the importance of the Temple in Judaism or the desecration of this holy site being performed daily by the Wakf."

The Israel Antiquities Authority approved the construction despite archaeologists’ concern that precious artifacts are being destroyed. The Authority, which digs for religious artifacts across the State of Israel, has not inspected construction on Judaism's holiest site even once since the work began, despite continuous calls for the construction to be supervised and halted.

English spokesman for the Israeli Police, Mickey Rosenfeld asserts that the police stationed on the Temple Mount will not prevent the construction because the Antiquities Authority approved the dig.

The Wakf has denied that any Jewish artifacts have been discovered during the dig, but new photos of work on the Mount belie the claim, clearly showing what is likely to be an ancient piece of carved wall.

The wall in question is from the outer wall of the Temple itself, as opposed to the Western Wall, which is a remnant of the retaining wall around the larger Temple platform.

Mazar, a member of the faculty at Hebrew University and a member of the Public Committee for Prevention of the Destruction of Antiquities on the Temple Mount, says it is "crucial this wall is inspected."  She explains that the current ground level of the Temple Mount is slightly above the original Temple Mount platform, “meaning anything found is likely from the Temple itself.” 

Mazar insists that she must personally inspect the stones to confirm their status, and attempted to inspect the site last week.  She was stopped by Israeli police who are protecting the construction.

"The only hope is for Jews and non-Jews from across the world to stand up and start putting pressure on the religious, political and archeological communities to immediately halt this process," Richman concludes.  "The whole world is wondering what the Jews are doing, allowing their most precious site, the Holy of Holies to be destroyed right before their eyes."