Sunday, September 26, 2004

Miracle In The Works?

B'Ezrat HaShem (with the help of God) and God-willing: Temple Mount Could Collapse Atop Moslem Worshipers.

A report by the Israel Antiquities Authority, based on the findings of an Egyptian engineering team, states that there is an immediate risk that the Solomon's Stables area of the Temple Mount could collapse when tens of thousands of Moslem worshipers arrive for Ramadan prayers in three weeks' time.

Israeli security officials are taking the warnings seriously, but it appears that the Moslem officials are less concerned. Although Israel is sovereign over the area, Moslem Waqf officials have forbidden Israeli engineers from entering the area to evaluate the risk. The Waqf has also refused to limit the number of worshipers at the Temple Mount during Ramadan prayers. Even a visit by Jerusalem Police Chief Ilan Franko to Jordan in an effort to have the Jordanians exert pressure on the Waqf has apparently not succeeded.

Over the past several years, the Waqf has made major structural changes on and under the Temple Mount, in a two-pronged effort to expand the mosques there and erase any vestiges of Jewish history there. The Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism, where the two Holy Temples were built and destroyed and where the Third Temple will be built. Moslem worshipers are now directed to two main areas in the Mount, on the ground level and on a roof supported by endangered pillars. The unsupervised digging carried out under the site, heavy tiles constructed on the upper plateau, regional earthquakes and weather conditions have greatly increased the danger of collapse.

The annual Ramadan prayers - which take place every 12 lunar months on the Muslim calendar - attracts tens of thousands of people every Friday to the Temple Mount. A collapse of the pillars could bury many thousands of worshipers - leading the Moslem world to blame Israel.


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