Gil Ronen of Israel National News (Arutz 7) published this report about renovation work being carried out at the Dome of the Chain:
Muslim religious authorities are concluding a clandestine eight-month dig on the Temple Mount that is intended to erase traces of the Jewish Temple’s Altar, Temple activists charge.
The digs have been taking place under the Dome of the Chain, believed to have been built over 1300 years ago. For eight months, the dome – which has a diameter of 14 meters – has been surrounded by a metal fence and black cloth, which hide whatever activity has been going on there from outside inspection. The Muslim Waqf religious authority has claimed the activity is simply a refurbishing of the structure, but refuses adamantly to let Jews or tourists near.Jewish activists made various attempts to enter the Dome, but met with no success. In the end, the Our Temple Mount news outlet found an Arab who was willing to take photos inside the compound in return for a handsome fee (see below). The man said that it appears the Waqf has already completed its digs and is now covering the dig with dirt.Our Temple Mount notes that according to Jewish tradition, the place where the Dome of the Chain is located is the spot upon which the sacrificial Altar stood in Temple times. Temple activists said that the Muslim digs are intended to erase the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount.
Jewish activists paid an Arab to take these photos of illegal digging on the supposed site of the Jewish Temple Altar:
Although it is deplorable that this much needed renovation work was done without archaeological supervision, no digging to any depth appears to have been carried out, as the paving of the Dome of the Chain appears to be still intact. If the doubtful aim was “to Erase Traces of Jewish Altar”, then the work wouldn’t have succeeded in any case, as the altar stood to the southeast of the Dome of the Chain. If The Rock inside the Dome of the Rock is the location of the Holy of Holies, then according to my plan of the Herodian Temple Mount, the Dome of the Chain stands where once the Porch of the Temple was located.
In a previous post, I published this photograph of the Dome of the Chain with the location of the Altar outlined in white:
HT: Joe Lauer