Dome of the Rock on Temple Mount
Dome of the Rock on Temple Mount Miriam Alster/Flash 90

The work of sifting through dirt for archaeological findings on the Temple Mount will continue, after the Prime Minister has intervened in the matter.

According to an announcement from the Prime Minister’s Office, “The Ir David Foundation headed by David’le Be’eri will continue to fund the important project. Chairman of the Antiquities Authority Yisrael Hasson and Be’eri will meet soon with officials dealing with the sifting."

The project, which began around 12 years ago with the goal of exposing the destruction of ancient artifacts on the Temple Mount by the Waqf, was in danger of being closed due to a lack of funds.

Archeologist Tzahi Dvira, who jointly manages the sifting project with archeologist Gabi Barkai told Arutz Sheva earlier this week that the research projects which have been undertaken for years, and only recently revealed the magnificent head of a pillar that had stood during the Second Temple, stand in danger of being halted. "This project, because of its complexity, requires much in the way of resources as a result of the destruction and because of the need for extensive research work on each type of finding," he said.

"Back when the project was established in 2004, I was still a third-year archaeology student and some of our activities were then resisted and silenced. I was even stopped several times.”

Dvira said that in 2005, the Ir David Foundation Elad organization began funding the sifting project, and "we also raised funds to finance the research. But now everything is on the verge of closure, because it is always difficult to deal with fundraising from abroad, and in archaeology, most of the work is done in research. The rate of discovery is greater in laboratory research than in field screening."

"This is a project of national importance and that is important for the public to participate in. Four years ago, former government secretary Zvika Hauser told us that the state was responsible for this archaeological catastrophe, and that it is also the one that needs to rectify it. Unfortunately, he is no longer in office and we expect the Prime Minister's promises to be fulfilled. The time has come for the Israeli government to make an official decision to act on behalf of the Temple Mount."

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