Daily Israel Report

Huge Jordanian Generators Sighted on Temple Mount

Although the reason for bringing them is unclear, Jewish activists suspect the electricity generators are a sign that Muslims plan mayhem.
By Gil Ronen and Rachel Sylvetsky
First Publish: 1/25/2011, 3:48 PM / Last Update: 1/26/2011, 1:16 AM

Temple Mount Heritage Fund

Huge electricity generators donated by the government of Jordan were brought into the Temple Mount Tuesday. A group led by Likud's Moshe Feiglin documented the entry of the generators into the Mount.  

Sources in the Jerusalem Municipality's Supervision Department told the Temple Heritage Fund that the municipality had not given permission to bring in the generators and that they were informed of the matter by Avi Roif, Commander of the Old City Police. The municipality sources were said to be outraged at Roif for allowing the generators' entry despite his not not being authorized to do so.

It is not clear to what use the generators will be put. The Wakf has in the past conducted unauthorized digging and construction activity on the Mount, apparently in order to obliterate any archaeological  vestiges of Jewish presence there. The heavy generators themselves might damage the holy site and  they might be used to illuminate and provide energy for projects about which  Israel has not been informed.

According to an urgent Temple Heritage Fund e-mail message, generators of this size are capable of supplying electricity to tens of thousands of homes. The Fund quoted municipality sources as surmising that the generators might be intended for use in the event that Muslims want to remain up on the Temple Mount for a long period of time. This could occur to prevent an imagined takeover by the Jews, with Muslims gaining PR points in the process. 
 
"The Arabs may be planning a rebellion or a large-scale operation," the Fund's email added.  However, it is also possible that the Wakf would like to use an alternate source of energy other than Israel's Electric company.
 
There has been tension for other reasons around the Temple Mount in the past few days after news was leaked that Israel had cleared out an ancient tunnel that led from where the Davidson Visitors' Center currently stands, next to the Kotel Plaza, and the City of David.