A step in a routine chain remodeling of a sacred temple in the Old City of Jerusalem reignited the fuse of contention between Israelis and Muslims for the preservation of the sites considered sanctuaries.
It all began when the Muslim authorities began work to replace a worn carpet in the Dome of the Rock , the iconic golden dome shrine of presiding over the Old City of Jerusalem. The substitution sparked a verbal holy war for the Temple Mount or Haram al -Sharif, sacred to Jews and Muslims , whose claims often result inviolence.
Israeli archaeological authorities maintain that repairs were made to their backs , and a minister in the Israeli government requested that the work be paralyzed immediately, saying it could cause irreparable damage . Israeli researchers along with local cleaners say they foiled previously documented designs on the floor that were discovered after removing old carpets , but could not document them before new operators from installing.
“There is something there. I do not know what it is. But there is something hidden ” said Israeli archaeologist Zachi Dvira, who studies the temple.
Officials Waqf, the Muslim authority that manages the complex of the Al Aqsa, which includes the Dome of the Rock, rejected the Israeli accusations. Sheikh Azam Tamimi, director of the organization, said that the works have long and defiantly said it had banned any Israeli involvement.
“Our work is transparent Al Aqsa ” Tamimi told the AP. ” We’re just putting a carpet and felt. Nothing more, nothing less “ .
Work began quietly more than a month ago, and Israel facilitated the renovation project, said Jamal Al Quda, member of the Jordanian carpet installers who received Israeli visas for work.
A receipt dated March 11 issued by a company of Egyptian carpets to the Jordanian embassy in Tel Aviv lists 80 rolls of carpet for the mosque and the prayer area surrounding the block of rock located under the dome .
Jordan’s King Abdullah II financed the project, according Waqf. Israel moved to Jordan controlling the Old City of Jerusalem in the 1967 war, but under an agreement for years, Amman remains the custodian of Muslim parts of the site .
The carpet installer placed days ago glue on the floor of the temple . He explained that the product was necessary to fix the felt layer before installing the carpet up. And he said that the glue would not damage the floor. “Sale of hand , “ he said , rubbing his fingers.
Cryptic geometric designs aroused the intrigue of some researchers about the secrets that could hide under . The ancient Jewish tradition says that the Ark of the Covenant, coated with a gold shell and containing the Ten Commandments, could have been hidden in a chamber when the First Jewish Temple was destroyed 2,500 years ago .
Although Jerusalem is perhaps the most excavated city in the world, the Dome of the Rock and hill are an archaeological mine that has never been properly studied by the political sensitivities surrounding the place .