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The Leaning Wall of Jerusalem

Wednesday, August 29, 2001 | Tag Cloud Tags: ,

ICEJ NEWS - 08/29/2001
Israeli officials have offered to assist the Islamic Waqf in shoring up the endangered southern retaining wall of the Temple Mount compound from collapse, but it appears the Muslim authorities have little interest in preventing a disaster that could spark a worldwide jihad against Israel.

Earlier this month, ICEJ NEWS reported that tests by engineering experts on the outside southern wall of the Temple Mount had confirmed that a bulge has developed in the huge stone outer wall in the area of Solomon's Stables, an underground cavern which the Waqf has recently turned into the large Marwani mosque. Although a final report on the examination of the wall had not yet been delivered to Israeli officials, sources familiar with the tests warned that the wall was in danger of collapse.

Adding new details to this potentially explosive story is an article entitled "Is the Temple Mount in Danger of Collapse?" published in YEDIOT AHARONOT on August 17. Arab journalist Khaled Abu-Toameh [who also writes for the Jerusalem Report magazine] revealed that indeed experts from Israel and other countries around the world have recently determined the southern retaining wall is listing outward and is in danger of collapse. Based on close examination of aerial photographs of the Temple Mount, Israeli officials were told that if renovations are not carried out immediately at the site, portions of the wall are liable to fall down.

The findings were recently passed on to the Waqf and the Jordanian government, along with Israel's offer to assist in renovating the wall in order to prevent its collapse. The Waqf administration reported the matter to Yasser Arafat, head of the Palestinian Authority, who has wrested control of the Waqf away from the Hashemite throne in Amman. So far, Israel has not received any response to its offer.

Abu-Toameh notes that, "Apparently, the Waqf would prefer to carry out the renovations without Israeli involvement. One of the possibilities is Jordanian, Egyptian and Moroccan experts will soon tour the Temple Mount in order to study the issue and recommend ways to deal with the problem."

But Abu-Toameh also writes that the Waqf may be looking to exploit the matter, by charging that Israeli archaeological excavations well south of the inclining wall have undermined it. He states: "Since 1967, the Palestinians have been accusing Israel of excavating under the Temple Mount with the goal of undermining the foundations of the mosques and bringing about their collapse; this coming, in their words, in the framework of a plot by Jewish extremists to destroy the mosques and rebuild the Temple in their place. The Palestinian mufti of eastern Jerusalem, Sheikh Ekrema Sabri recently warned that any attempt to infringe on the status quo on the Temple Mount would lead to all-out war in the Middle East."

"The Arab world would likely claim that the wall's collapse was the result of a religious-Israeli plot to destroy the mosques on the Temple Mount and build the Third Temple in their place... Such an event, if it happens, has a vast potential for destruction and would even be liable to ignite the Middle East," he concludes.

[Thanks to Israel Resource News Agency for providing an English translation of this article.]

Used with Permission from International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.

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