PA Declares ‘Western Wall Was not Jewish’ until 16th Century AD

The Israeli press is full of reports of a paper prepared by Al-Mutawakel Taha, a senior official with the PA Ministry of Information to “refute” Jewish claim to the Western Wall.

The Jerusalem Post quotes him as follows:

Many studies published by Jewish experts have affirmed that there is no archeological evidence that the Temple Mount was built during the period of King Solomon,” the paper added. “One can only conclude that the Al-Buraq Wall is a Muslim wall and an integral part of the Aqsa Mosque and Haram Al-Sharif. No one has the right to claim ownership over it or change its features or original character. Also, no one has the right to agree with the occupation state’s racist and oppressive measures against history and holy sites.”

He is correct in saying that the Western Wall was not built in the time of Solomon. However, he appears to be ignorant of or chooses to ignore the history of the Temple Mount between Solomon and the Early Muslim period.

The drawing below from our Image Library shows the five stages in the development of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. From top to bottom:

1. The square Temple Mount built by King Hezekiah around the Temple built by King Solomon.
2. The Akra Fortress (red) was built by the Seleucid King Antiochus IV Epiphanes in 168 BC to control the local Jewish population. The fortress was destroyed by the Maccabees in 141 BC.
3. After the destruction of the Akra, the Hasmoneans extended the Temple Mount to the south (blue).
4. King Herod the Great renewed the Temple Mount by enlarging the square Temple Mount to double its size and building a new Temple.
5. During the Umayyad period, the Dome of the Rock was built on the site of the Temple and the El Aqsa mosque on that of the Royal Stoa. Large public buildings were erected to the south and west of the Temple Mount.

The Development of the Temple Mount from Hezekiah to the Early Muslim period

I made the reconstruction drawing of the Herodian Temple Mount below at the end of the 10-year long excavation project led by the late Prof. Benjamin Mazar (1968-’78). The Western Wall, where the Jews pray today, is shown in red. This approx. 60 m. long wall is part of the 485 m. long western retaining wall of the Herodian Temple Mount. Many finds from the Second Temple period, such as Hebrew inscriptions, coins and also the architectural style prove that the present-day walls of the Temple Mount are irrefutably Herodian. To deny this is ignorance in the extreme.

Herod's Temple Mount with the Western Wall shown in red

9 thoughts on “PA Declares ‘Western Wall Was not Jewish’ until 16th Century AD”

  1. Hi Leen,
    When it comes to the Temple Mount, you are the one who can show the historical truth about it. I hope that they ask you for information when this becomes a greater issue. Someone is taking “oppressive measures against history and holy sites” and that same someone is responsible for the recent destruction of archaeological evidence on the Temple Mount itself.

  2. The problem of the Temple Mount will not easily go away. I also believe that it will become a greater issue. If somebody asks me for more information, I am more than willing to show the historical and archaeological truth of this unique site.

  3. The claim “Many studies published by Jewish experts have affirmed that there is no archeological evidence that the Temple Mount was built during the period of King Solomon,” may be right if one ignores claims by Asher Kaufman to have identified certain walls visible in photographs as First Temple walls. What it doesn’t state, however, is that there is no archaeological excavation done on the Temple mount because of adamant Moslem refusal, so if there is any evidence it is being withheld or hidden by those who feel most threatened by it. It also doesn’t seemto have much regard for Islamic traditions connecting the Temple Mount with Solomon and Bayt Al-Maqdas!

  4. I agree that many remains of both First and Second Temple periods would be found if excavations were allowed on the Temple Mount. Kaufman recorded several archaeological remains, none of which were Solomonic, however.
    My own discoveries, such as the “Step”, the “Bend” and the First Temple masonry on both sides of the Golden Gate prove that a square Temple Mount did exist in the First Temple period.

  5. Hi Leen,

    This seems to be but a small part of a concerted effort by the PA to erase every last bit of Jewishness out of the holy land.
    Please feel free to speak up and share your knowledge.

  6. Hi Leen
    When I read this article this morning, I became infuriated. Once again the PA is spreading lies which if go unchecked reach many in this world and become fact instead of fiction. They again are uniting the matry’s to fight for Jerusalem, with the intention of wiping out the Jews or the right for our existence in this homeland. How can you reach enough caring, intelligent, logical people who can help fight this battle?

  7. Marla,

    The Prime Minister and many Israeli and American politicians objected so strongly against this statement that the PA had to withdraw it.

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