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'Allah' found etched into wall of Temple Mount

reprinted from Haaretz
Mar 31, '05 / 20 Adar 5765

by Nadav Shragai, Haaretz Correspondent

The word "Allah," written in Arabic, was found etched on the southern corner of the Temple Mount's eastern wall in Jerusalem on Wednesday morning.

Members of the committee for the prevention of damage to Temple Mount antiquities, who found the graffiti Wednesday, said it caused "serious damage to the site" and that it was "part of an attempt to grant an exclusively Muslim character to the Temple Mount and impair any Jewish connection to the site."

Arab workers employed to carry out restoration work at the site holy to both Jews and Muslims are suspected of carving out the half-meter high letters Tuesday. It is believed the workers used temporary scaffolding to reach the location.

Restoration work at the eastern walls is being carried out under Jordanian supervision, with Egyptian consultation, under the guard of Israeli police forces.

Meanwhile, the High Court of Justice is considering a petition filed by far-right activist Aryeh King, who asked the state to halt alleged burial activities at the site. King has submitted evidence alleging burial activity at the site, which is a designated national park.

The High Court has postponed a hearing on his petition until July.


'Allah' carved on Temple Mount

reprinted from YnetNews
Mar 31, '05 / 20 Adar 5765

by Natalie Frishkolnik and Efrat Weiss

Workers renovating holy site suspected of carving half meter-tall Arabic inscription on site's Eastern Wall

"Allah" on the Temple Mount: A carved half-meter tall inscription of the word "Allah" in Arabic was discovered on the Temple Mount's Eastern Wall, which police suspected had been made by Palestinians construction workers.

The laborers had been doing maitenance work on the wall in recent days.

"This breaks the Antiquities Law; these people are supposed to renovate and fix the wall, not commemorate names (on it), and certainly not names that are irrelevant," Eilat Mazar, a spokesman for the Committee to Prevent the Destruction of Antiquities on the Temple Mount, told Ynetnews.

Ten months ago, the committee said the site, holy to to Muslims and Jews, was "lawless" and lacked "archaeological supervision."

'The Wakf is to blame'

The warning was directed at the Muslim Wakf , the Muslim custodians of the shrine who had supervised its renovations.

Antiquities Authority General Manager Shuki Dorfman has said the Eastern Wall was in danger of immediate collapse, adding that following the earthquake in Israel a number of months earlier, special attention was given to the wall.

"We discovered a shift of several centimeters in several places," he said.

Dorfman said he thinks the Antiquities Authority has an inclusive picture of the construction work being done on the Mount, but added, "I can't promise that we know everything. I don't know what happens at night and I don't know what goes on in the Solomon's Stables excavation site."

Mazar said there is no real archaeological supervision over the renovations.

"The Wakf returns to the same mantras all the time. In response to every one of our requests in the past to check the archaeological and structural stability, they charged that the requests were made simply to provoke," she said.

"When the Southern Wall began to swell, they charged in the beginning that it wasn't true, and it in fact continued to swell, just like we said."



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