Monday's groundbreaking discovery of ancient Jewish artifacts at the foot of the Temple Mount has been labeled as "fake" by the Islamic Waqf Trust, which administers Islamic sites in Israel.
According to a report made by Gulf News, the group categorically rejected Israeli claims that the Jewish treasures, including the oldest Torah ornament artifacts ever found in archaeological digs, were found a few metes away from the Temple Mount, where the Jewish Temples once stood.
They labelled the findings as "an attempt to support Israeli claims about Jewish rights in the holy city and to impose Israeli sovereignty on the occupied holy compound through the use of fake evidence."
The report went on to say that the "alleged discovery," which includes two bundles containing 36 gold coins from the Byzantine era, gold and silver jewellery and a gold medallion with a menorah (Temple candelabrum), is not a historical reference of a Jewish presence in Jerusalem.
Yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu hailed the magnificent discovery as a testament "to the ancient Jewish presence and to the sanctity of the place," which he said was "as clear as the sun."
But in an official statement, the Waqf dismissed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's celebration of the finds as "an effort to dismiss the Arab and Islamic nature of the holy city."
“An immediate Arab and Muslim campaign is needed to stop the Israeli attempts to Judaise the holy city of Jerusalem,” the statement read.
The statement also referred to the team of archaeologists as “enthusiastic servants of Zionist ideology and their findings can not be trusted."
“Many of those who conduct excavations on the boundaries of Al Aqsa Holy Compound have been involved in major operations to fake history, and those excavators have been taking advantage of the excavations and findings to prove their Torah theories and claims.”
The Waqf, along with the Palestinian Authority (PA), has long sought to deny any Jewish connection to the city of Jerusalem, dismissing archaeological finds as forgeries and enforcing a ban on Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount - Judaism's holiest site.
The Waqf also stands accused of the wholesale destruction of Jewish artifacts on the Temple Mount.