Press release: Islamic Waqf takes advantage of Temple Mount closure to conduct digs.

Press Release

Islamic Waqf Takes Advantage of Temple Mount Closure to Conduct Digs

Photos uploaded yesterday to the official Facebook page of the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf showed them conducting unauthorized digs on the Temple Mount.

“Despite the closure of the Al-Aqsa Mosque/Haram esh-Sharif due to coronavirus, the staff, workers and guards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque are continuing their hard work,” wrote the Jordanian-backed Wakf which administers the Temple Mount.

The Arab Desk of the Zionist watchdog Im Tirtzu, which first reported the unauthorized digs, accused the Waqf of taking advantage of the closure to perform the illegal digs that are aimed at “destroying Jewish artifacts and history.”

Due to the highly sensitive nature of the Temple Mount, all digs must be approved by both the Waqf and the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Despite this, the Waqf has a long history of conducting illegal digs, most notably in 1999 when they disposed of over 9,000 tons of dirt mixed with invaluable archaeological artefacts that are now being salvaged by The Temple Mount Sifting Project.

Students for the Temple Mount, a student-based organization promoting religious equality and freedom on the Temple Mount, also blasted the digs.

“The fact that the Waqf had the gall to publicly publish pictures of this illegal digging just emphasizes Israel’s lack of sovereignty on the Temple Mount,” said the organization.

Tom Nisani, head of Im Tirtzu’s Arab Desk noted: “What is even more disturbing are the things that the Waqf doesn’t make public.”

“The time has come for Israel to once and for all assert its sovereignty over the Temple Mount. It’s absurd that the Temple Mount – Judaism’s holiest site –  is the only place in the Western World where Jews can’t pray.”

Nisani added: “The longer the Temple Mount stays closed, the greater the chances are that the Waqf will destroy more Jewish history.”

Photo credit: See more photos. Facebook page of Islamic Wawf

Im Tirtzu is a Zionist non-governmental organization based in Israel.  Its name is derived from an epigraph appended to the frontispiece of Theodor Herzl’s novel Altneuland, ‘if you wish it, it is no fairy-tale,’ rendered into modern Hebrew in Nahum Sokolow’s translation in 1903, as Im tirtzu ein zo agadah.


Eytan Meir

Director of External Relations & Development

Im Tirtzu – Building the Zionist Dream

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