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      Arabs Vandalize Judaism´s Holiest Site

      An act of Islamic vandalism on a wall of Judaism’s holiest site, the Temple Mount, has elicited outrage on the part of archaeologists.
      First Publish: 3/31/2005, 3:26 PM / Last Update: 3/31/2005, 4:30 PM

      The word “Allah” was found yesterday carved into the eastern wall of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The Arabic letters are approximately a foot tall.
      Islamic vandalism on the eastern wall of the Temple Mount

      It is suspected that Arab workers brought in by the Waqf Islamic authority, which controls the Temple Mount, are the culprits. Police feel they used stone cutting tools to engrave the word into the stone, which is located about thirty feet off the ground.

      The stone in question is located next to scaffolding brought in by Jordanian workers to prevent the collapse of the wall. The Temple Mount retaining wall was in danger of collapse after the Waqf engaged in massive and unsupervised excavations below the mount. The material dug out from beneath the mount was then mixed with refuse and discarded into the Kidron Valley.

      Archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar of the Committee for the Prevention of the Destruction of Antiquities strongly condemned the vandalism. “They are supposed to be fixing and bolstering the wall, not carving names into the ancient structure,” the Hebrew University archaeologist told Arutz-7. “The Antiquities Authority and the police, as well, have failed to provide even elementary protection that is provided for any archaeological site, let alone the Temple Mount.”

      Dr. Mazar added that the Jordanian work strengthening the walls that were weakened during the illegal construction is being carried out, "purposely," very slowly. The Committee for the Prevention of the Destruction of Antiquities warned ten months ago that the "Temple Mount has been abandoned, with no archaeological supervision whatsoever.”

      “This is a shameful crime,” Mazar said. “Graffiti on an archaeological site! Can you imagine what a political storm would have resulted if graffiti with a Jewish theme had been carved into such a site?”

      Dr. Mazar claims that the authority has an inclusive picture of all construction taking place on the Mount, “but I am unable to promise that we know everything. I don’t know what happens at night, and I don’t know what is being done in Solomon’s Stables [the area on the southeastern side of the Temple Mount plaza that was dug out for the construction of a new mosque –ed.].”