Illegally Digging Up The Temple Mount

Hillel Fendel of Israelnationalnews (Arutz 7) reports that the stone floor inside the Dome of the Rock is being dug up by tractor under the guise of “replacing carpets”.

This cutaway drawing of the Dome of the Rock shows The Rock around which this Islamic structure is built. The Rock, shown in yellow, was the Foundation Stone of the First and Second Temples on which the Holy of Holies was built.
Below The Rock are steps that descend into a cave called al-Maghara.
The floor of the Dome of the Rock is shown in grey.

Using the excuse of “replacing carpets,” the Waqf (Islamic Trust) on the Temple Mount began digging up the stone floor today inside the Mosque of Omar – the site of some of the most sacred areas of the two Holy Temples of Kings Solomon and Herod.

A small tractor was brought into the famous gold-domed structure and dug and removed earth there, with no permit to do so. Such work requires permission from and supervision by the Antiquities Authority, as well as approval from the Ministerial Committee on Archaeological Digs in Holy Sites.

The Antiquities Authority said the works were not coordinated with it, and added, “Further questions must be directed towards the police, who are the sovereign body there.”

The joint Temple Mount Movements umbrella organization, HaMateh HaMeshutaf, reports that any change in the floor, and certainly a penetration into the earth below, is liable to cause irreversible damage to the foundations of the Holy Temple and the surviving remnants of the Holy Temple periods.

This is understandably a cause of concern, especially as there is no information of how deep the excavation is. It is not known therefore what was found or damaged below the floor.

It may be helpful to remember that in 1959, sections of the floor were also dug up for the purpose of strengthening the columns and walls of the Dome of the Rock with reinforced concrete. These secretly taken photographs showed the bedrock  below the pavement:

Scaffolding poles stand on the floor of the Dome of the Rock at upper right and in the foreground, metal bars for reinforced concrete can be seen. The bedrock is estimated to be located a foot and a half (50cm) below the floor. Photo: Studium Biblical Franciscanum.
Here the bedrock is visible close to the central north column of the Dome of the Rock. Photo: Studium Biblical Franciscanum.
This photograph was taken close to the south-southeast corner of the Dome of the Rock. Photo: Studium Biblical Franciscanum.

In all of these photographs, the bedrock appears to be located not more than a foot or two below the floor of the Dome of the Rock. It is important that this excavation is carried out under archaeological supervision for even if nothing other than soil is found, the configuration of the bedrock may cast light on the layout of the Second Temple that stood here almost 2000 years ago.

HT: Joe Lauer

3 thoughts on “Illegally Digging Up The Temple Mount”

  1. What would my wife say if I would replace carpets with a tractor??

    Seriously, this is not right. One would think the Waqf is too interest what will be under the surface of the floor. But propably not… just remembering the digging at the “Salomons stables”.

  2. It’s a complete outrage that this work is being done.
    Destroying the original integrity of the site.
    It should be put to a stop by force if need be.
    Lack of any reprocussion against the MUSLIM’S almost to me signifies corruption and collusion with someone in the IsraelI government.

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