Jerusalem (Oct. 19)
(Jewish Telegraphic Agency)
The Wailing Wall issue has entered another acute phase with the completion by the workers hired by the Moslem Supreme Council of a structure imposed on the top of the Wailing Wall, despite the continuous indiguant protests of Paestine Jewry.
The structure erected is a room two meters high and five meters long and rests entirely on the Wailing Wall. New protests were despatched by the Jerusalem Zionist Executive to the British Colonial Office and to Acting High Commissioner Luke.
The Palestine Government has not and does not intend to take any action interfering with the Moslem Supreme Council’s work on the Wailing Wall. It is understood that the Government’s contention is that the provisions of Article 13 of the Palestine Mandate, guaranteeing protection of the Holy Places in Palestine, preclude its interference. It further contends that only the lower and middle layers of the Wailing Wall are of historic value. The work of the Moslems on the upper layer is no violation of the Holy Site.
The Jerusalem authorities caused further excitement among the Jewish population of the Holy City by the issuance of an unexplainable order interferng with the Jewsh worshippers at the Wall. The order has already been withdrawn due to the vigorous protests of the Jewish community. The Jerusalem District Commissioner issued an order on Thursday forbidding the lighting of the six lux lamps which have been used for a long time for the benefit of worshippers on Friday and holiday evenings to enable them to read their prayers after nightfall.
Today the order calling for the removal of the lux lamps was withdrawn.
Article 13 of the Palestine Mandate, referred to in the foregoing despatch, reads as follows: “All responsibility in connection with the Holy Places and religions buildings or sites in Palestine, including that of preserving existing rights and of securing free access to the Holy Places, religious buildings and sites and the free exercise of worship, while ensuring the requirements of public order and decoum, is assumed by the Mandatory, who shall be responsible solely to the League of Nations in all matters connected herewith, provided that nothing in this article shall prevent the Mandatory from entering into such arrangements as he may deem reasonable with the Administration for the purpose of carrying the provisions of this article into effect: and provided also that nothing in this Mandate shall be construed as conferring upon the Mandatory authority to interfere with the fabric of the management of purely Moslem sacred shrines, the immunities of which are guaranteed.”