Pictures from MKs Tour in Temple Mount - 20/6/00


All the confirmations we were given from the police in advance were canceled during the tour, according to the Waqf's demands. The media were not allowed to enter the Mount, we were not allowed to take any pictures, and the subterranean structures were banned from us. I was very disappointed from the MKs, because they didn't insist that the police would provide them these basic rights.

These pictures where taken in spite the Waqf prohibition, which was guaranteed by 10 Waqf men who were constantly watching us. I have managed to click the camera from time to time without them noticing me. Eventually I was noticed and the Waqf men ask me to deliver him my camera. I refused and they told the policemen that were with us (many senior officers joined this tour). Raanan Tal, police commander of the old city, demanded me to put the camera in my bag. I did what he asked me to, but then he raised his hand on me and pushed me forward. He threatened to expel me out of the Mount.

Unfortunately we were not allowed to enter the subterranean structures, which our knowledge regarding the construction and destruction in these places is almost none.

In the video taken 10 days before, many construction materials were seen spread around the area. But in the tour it seemed like the area was 'fixed up' before we came. Later on in the pictures I've noticed that many construction materials were moved to the northeastern section of the Mount.



The construction of the pit that was dug in late 1999 is almost done. It has become an entrance to the new mosque that was built in 'Solomon's Stables'. On the left there are remains of a vault that is a continuation from the most eastern vault of Solomon's Stables. According the way this vault is constructed we should date it to the Medieval era. More vault like this were disassembled in the previous dig (check out picture 4). But now they have begun to disassemble this one as well.  This is our last chance to conduct and archaeological dig that might teach us a lot about the area north from the Solomon's stables.

The western part of the new mosque entrance (the pit).


Construction work near the eastern wall of the Temple Mount.

These piles of sand were probably brought to the Mount for paving work.


This area was full of trees, but now it was prepared for new construction.

Ancient pillars, columns and more stones were filtered out from the debris and are kept on the Mount. The Waqf is not allowing archaeologist to examine these relics. 

A roof of one of the few containers that were recently placed on the Mount.

A new structure that is currently in construction. . It's location is about 70m west from the eastern wall.


This picture was taken from a distance, because IAA director, Amir Drori, said that there is nothing to see ahead. Later on, when I went through the pictures I realized that there are many construction materials in that area, so I zoomed in the picture.



Many piles of stone and debris are spread around the eastern side of the Temple Mount.

Many ancient masonry stones. The one in the middle (with a black plastic bag on it) seems interesting. It needs some checking to determine what it is.

A construction container and mechanical construction equipment. On the left a new structure is seen.