Jerusalem police and the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA} have determined that the advertised sale of Western Wall stones on the eBay website earlier this year turned out to be only gravel at the holy site.
The offer last February was removed by eBay after an uproar by Jews offended by the suggestion that the stones at the wall surrounding the Temple Mount courtyard were up for sale.
Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich asked eBay to remove the “for sale” item and filed a complaint with police.
An investigation has revealed that the seller was offering no more than gravel from the Western Wall.
The Israeli antiquities law forbids anyone from dealing in protected items without permission. IAA director Shuka Dorfman said that even if the seller of the “gravel’ was not in violation of the antiquities law, he was guilty of fraud and false advertising.
The original ad offered the stones for a “blessing and success” for the purchaser. An ad on eBay offered a supposed “Piece Of Stone Soil From The Wailing Western Wall Kotel Jerusalem Jesus Israel” for $24.99.
The seller’s identity included a description linking a company to Christianity.