U.S. Reps. Scott Tipton (R-Colo.) and David B. McKinley (R-W.Va.) no doubt anticipated an eye-opening experience when they visited the Temple Mount on Thursday as part of their current trip to Israel. So imagine their surprise when they were detained by Israel police after an Islamic Waqf official, which administers the Temple Mount, lodged a complaint against them.
In a serious replay of past "archaeological crimes," the Muslim Waqf on the Temple Mount has once again recklessly dug in areas rich with ancient artifacts, this time on the raised platform around the Dome of the Rock, and Israelis are upset that Prime Minister Ehud Barak refuses to stop it.
Israeli President Moshe Katsav demanded on Wednesday that the government stop the destruction of antiquities on the Temple Mount, adding that he could not shake off the impression that the Waqf's goal is not only to reinforce Muslim control of the Mount, but "to erase every Jewish trace" there.
Caretaker Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak on Thursday finally requested police to meet with Islamic Waqf officials in Jerusalem and halt the reported destruction of antiquities on the Temple Mount.
Fresh eye-witness accounts indicate the Muslim Waqf has added a new tunnel accessing the ancient Hulda Gates corridor to its growing list of "archaeological crimes" on the Temple Mount.