July 13, 2012
Pails, ropes, and construction workers' scaffoldings were placed on the Temple's Foundation Stone in blatant violation of the Holy Places Law.
According to the website Kipa, Israeli police on Thursday admitted that the Muslim Waqf has been conducting infrastructure work at the very heart of the Temple Mount, the foundation stone, for more than six years.
An Islamic Waqf has managed the Temple Mount continuously since the Muslim chased the Crusaders out of Jerusalem in 1187. On June 7, 1967, during the Six-Day War, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol declared that "no harm whatsoever shall come to the places sacred to all religions." The Knesset passed the Preservation of the Holy Places Law, protecting the Holy Places against desecration, and guaranteeing freedom of access. In return for obeying the law, Israel agreed to leave the administration of the site in the hands of the Waqf.
Two weeks ago, a complaint was filed with the Israel Police Commissioner by a group of Temple organizations, regarding revelations about Waqf work at the Dome of the Rock, which includes laying scaffolding, tools and debris on top of the sacred Foundation Stone.
The police responded that "the work performed by the Waqf at the Dome of the Rock have begun more than six years ago. They are being performed with the approval of the Israel Antiquities Authority and under its supervision." The police argued that the work has not caused any damage to the foundation stone.
But the IAA denies completely the approval and supervision of works on the Mount, according to the Temple organizations' attorney Aviad Visoly, who accused the police commissioner of outrageous, appalling, and deceitful behavior.
"Your response also indicates an abysmal contempt by the Israel Police, and by yourself, as its ranking officer, the holiest place for the Jewish people," Visoly wrote the commissioner.
The Temple organizations have asked the police commissioner "to convene as soon as possible the Temple Mount police taskforce, together with representatives of the Temple Mount rabbis (led by Rabbi Israel Ariel, who has recently been banned from entering the Temple Mount indefinitely), as well as the various Temple Mount advocacy groups, to so we can explain to you how sacred the Temple Mount to the Jewish people."
The Temple organizations' attorney added that " the shocking images of desecration of the foundation stone, together with your response, indicate that disregard and ignorance of the value of Temple Mount has led the Israeli police to permit the unprecedented desecration of the holiest Jewish place, as it failed completely to carry out its responsibility to enforce the law protecting the holy places."