22 January, 2014
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) – Israeli excavations at the entrance to Wadi Hilweh in the Silwan neighborhood are destroying deep-rooted Islamic antiquities from the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphate eras, says a Palestinian Jerusalem-based group.
The Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage highlighted in a statement that previous excavations adjacent to the area had demolished an Islamic cemetery from the Abbasid era.
“The Israeli occupation has started new excavations carried out by the so-called Israel Antiquities Authority and funded by Gilad Organization which supports settlements.
“The excavations are on Palestinian lands the Israeli occupation confiscated and has been used as a parking lot for visitors of the settlement outpost called the City of David,” the statement said.
Israeli archaeologists from the Emek Shaveh organization confirmed that there were Islamic antiquities in the area being excavated, according to the statement.
The excavations, according to the foundation, lay the grounds to construction of a giant 8-floor Jewish center to be called the Biblical Temple. It will serve as a main entrance to the tunnel network which Israel has excavated under Silwan and under the Western Wall of the al-Aqsa compound, it says.