Wednesday, December 26, 2012

More Waqf depredations at the Temple Mount

Temple Mount authority reportedly carts off antiquities to the dump
Despite High Court ruling, mounds of earth excavated from Jerusalem holy site go unexamined by archaeologists

By Ilan Ben Zion December 24, 2012, 5:55 am 12 (Times of Israel)

The Muslim authority managing the Temple Mount on Sunday dumped tons of unexamined earth and stones excavated from the holy site into a municipal dump, in violation of a High Court injunction, Maariv reported on Monday.

Israel’s top court in September 2004 prohibited removal of earth from the Temple Mount and ruled that, should it be necessary, the Antiquities Authority must be notified a month in advance so it may examine the earth for artifacts.

Some indication of what that earth may contain:
Soil from the Temple Mount that had been removed to the Kidron Valley in recent years has yielded “tens of thousands of finds, including signet rings from the First Temple era, painted floor tiles from the Second Temple era, ancient gold coins, and horseshoe nails and arrowheads belonging to the Knights Templar, who stabled their horses in Solomon’s Stables,” [archaeologist Tzachi] Dvira said.
In recent years I have noted other details of finds sifted (see below) out of similarly pillaged Temple-Mount earth here, here, here, and here.

Arutz Sheva is also covering the story:
Report: Waqf Continues to Destroy Jewish Antiquities
The Waqf is continuing to destroy Jewish antiquities on the Temple Mount in a direct violation of a court ruling, new report finds.

By Elad Benari
First Publish: 12/25/2012, 2:13 AM

The Muslim Waqf is continuing to destroy Jewish antiquities on the Temple Mount in a direct violation of a ruling by the Supreme Court, a new report released Monday finds.

The author of the report, archaeologist Tzachi Zweig-Devira, told Arutz Sheva that his report is based on a personal visit he made to the Temple Mount.

This sort of thing has been going on for years, and I can't fathom why the Israeli Government continues to abide it. Much of the illicitly excavated material has been scrutinized for artifacts by the Temple Mount Sifting Project, with which Tzachi Zewig-Dvira is associated. More on the project here and follow the many, many links back.

(HT Joseph I. Lauer and others.)

UPDATE—The story develops: MK Eldad Joins Rally for Temple Mount Preservation and Court May Be Asked to Stop ‘Destruction of History’ (Arutz Sheva).