Jewish groups are concerned that Muslim excavations on the Temple Mount are damaging Jewish antiquities.
Responding to reports that relics from the Temple period are at risk of destruction from a trench being dug by the Waqf, the Muslim trust that controls the site, the Committee to Prevent the Destruction of Temple Mount Antiquities petitioned Israel’s High Court on Sunday to stop the digging.
“We are extremely disturbed by the continuing Waqf-controlled excavations taking place on the Temple Mount and the lack of respect for Judaism’s holy sites,” the Orthodox Union said in a statement. “We insist that the Waqf halt all work in progress on the Temple Mount and call upon the Israeli government to take all the necessary steps to protect Judaism’s heritage at this holy site.”
Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said work must stop immediately until the risk to antiquities can be determined.
“We are especially concerned because there is a history of Muslim religious leaders treating Israeli religious and cultural artifacts on the Temple Mount, not to mention the Jewish connection to Jerusalem, with contempt,” Foxman said.
The work has also been condemned by the Zionist Organization of America and the National Council of Young Israel.