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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

More incitement over Jerusalem archaeology

Arab News reports:
Israeli occupation authorities began excavation works near Al-Aqsa Mosque on Tuesday, according to Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage.

The foundation said in a press statement that the "new excavations are concentrated in the site of Birkat Al-Sultan (Al-Sultan's Pool,” adjacent to the western wall of the Jerusalem's Old City). The pool was a source of water supply to Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Old City, the foundation said.

It added that the "Israeli authorities sized control of the Islamic and historic site since the 1948 war and destroyed parts of it." According to the foundation, the Israeli authorities turned parts of the site into a national park.

The foundation warned of the risks and consequences of these excavations and tunnels on the foundations of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

It added that the new excavations are part of Israeli efforts "to find any proof of the alleged Second Temple under Al-Aqsa Mosque and to Judaize Jerusalem."

The foundation said that the Israeli authorities "failed since it started its excavations to prove Jewish presence in the holy city or that the Temple ever existed." The foundation stressed that the "new excavations in the Old City are provocations for Muslims." It urged Arab and Islamic states to take action to stop it.
The foundation puts out press releases like this, warning of Israeli attempts to "Judaize" Jerusalem and to destroy the Al Aqsa Mosque and Islamic history, every day.

Are the excavations an attempt to deny any Muslim ties to Jerusalem?

Well, let's quote the right-wing Arutz Sheva website on excavations last year around the Sultan's Pool:
"Naturally, one of the first things Sultan Suleiman The First hastened to do in Jerusalem (along with the construction of the city wall as we know it today) was to repair the aqueduct that was already there which supplied the large numbers of pilgrims who arrived in Jerusalem with water for drinking and purification," explained [IAA's Dr. Ron] Be'eri.

"Suleiman attached a small tower to the aqueduct, inside of which a ceramic pipe was inserted. The pipe diverted the aqueduct’s water to the Sultan’s Pool and the impressive sabil (a Muslim public fountain for drinking water), which he built for the pilgrims who crossed the Derekh Hebron bridge and is still preserved there today.”

Beeri added that the location of the aqueduct was extremely successful and efficient. "We found four phases of different aqueducts that were constructed in exactly the same spot, one, Byzantine, from the sixth-seventh centuries CE and three that are Ottoman which were built beginning in the sixteenth century CE. The last three encircle a large subterranean water reservoir that was apparently built before the Ottoman period”.

The Low-level Aqueduct is one of two ancient water conduits that originated at the springs in the Hebron Highlands and at Solomon’s Pools, and terminated in Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.

Research has shown that the ancient aqueduct was meant to supply high quality spring water to the Temple Mount, to Jerusalem’s residents and to the many pilgrims that have come to the city over the course of generations, according to a statement by IAA.

“We can see that from the time of the Second Temple until the Byzantine period water flowed in an open channel that was covered with stone slabs. In later phases, beginning in the Ottoman period, water was conveyed in ceramic pipes which were installed inside the aqueduct,” Be'eri noted.
It seems that the right-wing Jews have no problem talking about, or even being excited over, excavations that reveal details about Jerusalem's Islamic and Ottoman (not to mention Byzantine) periods.

The only people who are denying history are the Muslims themselves, who keep saying even today that there is no evidence of any ancient Jewish presence in Jerusalem, an absurd lie that is believed by millions. Just like the lie that excavations at the Sultan's Pool could possibly affect the foundations of a mosque that is not even close by.