Shevat 17, 5774, 18/01/14
Member of committee to preserve Temple Mount antiquities demands that secret report on Waqf be published - for the sake of the public.
by Tova Dvorin
The public needs to know the truth about antiquities on the Temple Mount, according to one official involved in the Jewish site's preservation.
Attorney Yisrael Kaspi, a member of the Committee to Prevent Temple Mount Desecration, stated to Arutz Sheva Saturday night that the full report regarding the Waqf's desecration of antiquities on the Mount needs to be revealed to the public.
"We're livid [that the report remains unpublished]," Kaspi declared. "[This is] harsh and severe - we unequivocally demand that this report be revealed in full to the public."
"The head of the Shin Bet and the Mossad said - contrary to the Prime Minister - that nothing justifies the imposition of secrecy," he continued.
Kaspi's comments refer to the contents of a secret report by the State Comptroller regarding the enforcement, or lack thereof, of the law at the Temple Mount.
The report was not made public in Israel because of concerns that doing so would result in violence. However, The Jewish Voice, a New York-based Jewish website got its hands on the report and published it in December.
The report reveals some disturbing truths about the methods taken by the Waqf to remove any ties that the Jewish people have to the Temple Mount and how Israeli institutions cooperated with these actions.
Among other revelations, the report shows that the Jerusalem Municipality, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) and other law enforcement officials do not operate on the Temple Mount. Only the police operates on the Temple Mount, but it avoids confrontation with the Waqf in order to maintain its good relations with it.
The Waqf is the Jordanian-run Islamic trust which administers the Temple Mount. It has been accused on numerous occasions of mounting a concerted campaign to "Islamize" the site by destroying ancient Jewish artifacts.
Kaspi said the confidential report strongly criticizes the policies of former Attorney General Menachem Mazuz, who prevented legal authorities from acting on the Temple Mount.
"The report paints a picture of incompetence, negligence and indifference of all government officials related to the most important archaeological site in the state of Israel," Kaspi fired. "The IAA, and the Israeli police, the Jerusalem Municipality - none of them have dealt effectively with the problem. Attorney General Menachem Mazuz abandoned the place at the mercy of the Muslim Waqf and stopped the ability of law enforcement agencies to address the issue."
Kaspi claims that Mazuz lied when he stated that he was unaware of the issue.
"We know the police approached him and so did the IAA; we also reported the destruction and vandalism [on the Mount]," Kaspi stated. "Today there is some improvement, but there are still serious problems - the Waqf continues to destroy all archaeological finds on the Mount as a matter of policy."
Kaspi's remarks follow news earlier this month that the Waqf has been illegally drilling on Judaism's holiest site, as revealed through telling video footage.
In addition to frequent vandalism, the Temple Mount is frequently closed to Jewish visitors and is often the site of anti-Jewish discrimination. Jews are prevented from praying or performing any other religious rituals, while Muslim visitors pray freely.
Muslim anger over the site has escalated since MKs have announced efforts to equalize prayer rights at the site, through legislation which would allow full religious freedom.