Eyewitnesses told Turkish media this week that a portion of the Temple Mount platform near the Al Aqsa Mosque has collapsed, creating a serious safety hazard and a possible threat to the stability of the Islamic structure.
If the report is accurate, it would be the second serious collapse on the Temple Mount in the past five years.
Palestinian officials claim that the collapses are caused by deliberate Israeli action to bring down the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock so that the Jewish Temple can be rebuilt.
But archaeologists and engineers have been warning for years that the heavy construction projects being carried out by the Muslims atop the Temple Mount are destabilizing the huge number of ancient structures and water cisterns that riddle the sacred plateau.
Many believe it is only a matter of time before most of the platform collapses. And there are fears such a collapse could occur during Ramadan, when upwards of 100,000 Muslims gather atop the Temple Mount for weekly prayers.
A view of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Photo: Berthold Werner.
The current negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are a struggle close to the heart of many. Hope springs eternal, but questions remain.
Most would agree that President Obama’s insistence and Secretary of State Kerry’s persistence are the primary instigators of the current negotiations. Although the prospects of peace are always tantalizing, the likelihood that peace talks will raise unrealistic hopes and stir long- held tension is a real and present danger.
The proposed Two State Solution is an imposition on Israel’s 65-year peace process, and does not necessarily address the sensitivities of the Read more…
On March 6, the Counterterrorism Bureau at Israel’s National Security Council issued its semiannual travel warning report. Travel warnings, which the bureau emphasized were only “recommendations,” of varying degrees are currently in place for Israelis in 27 countries, including Thailand, Nigeria, Tunisia, Azerbaijan, and Turkey.
The warnings, according to the report, are “based on solid and reliable information, which reflects a real threat, based upon intelligence assessments.” The report from the bureau noted that Hezbollah blames Israel for the death of Imad Mughniyah in 2008, while Iran blames Israel for the deaths of a number of its nuclear scientists. According to the bureau, Iran and Hezbollah are still looking to exact revenge and are likely to do so by targeting Israelis abroad via suicide attacks or kidnappings.
According to a source in the bureau, Israel is “identifying a systematic campaign operating with the greatest vigor…. They [Hezbollah and Iran] are fully coordinated. It is one axis.” The source also revealed, according to the Jerusalem Post, tha Read more…
At space conference, Amir Eshel says “Syria is falling apart, no one knows what future holds,” warns of Assad’s unconventional arms.
Israel’s need to deal with developing threats before they begin having an impact on the country’s security is growing, Israel Air Force Chief, Maj.-Gen. Amir Eshel, told a Herzliya space conference on Tuesday.
Speaking at the Eight Annual Space Conference, hosted by the Fisher Institute, Eshel said that “most of the threats come to our borders from Iran through various ways.”
Turning his sights to Syria, Eshel said the country is “falling part.”
“Today, no one has an idea of what will be in Syria, and how the country will look. This is happening in a place with a vast arsenal of weapons, some of which is modern and advanced, and some of which is unconventional,” he added.
“This isn’t our backyard – it’s right on our borders. This is a very big challenge for us. Beyond that, we are dealing with a very Read more…
Archaeologists have uncovered a 2,750-year-old temple near Jerusalem, along with pottery and clay figurines that suggest the site was the home base for a ritual cult, the Israeli Antiquities Authority said Wednesday.
The discovery was made during excavations at the Tel Motza archaeological site, about 3 miles (5 kilometers) west of Jerusalem, during preparations for work on a new section of Israeli’s Highway 1, the agency said in a statement.
“The ritual building at Tel Motza is an unusual and striking find, in light of the fact that there are hardly any remains of ritual buildings of the period in Judaea at the time of the First Temple,” excavation directors Anna Eirikh, Hamoudi Khalaily and Shua Kisilevitz were quoted as saying in the statement.
The Bible says the Firs Read more…
An explosion hit a gas pipeline running from Egypt to Israel on Sunday, the latest in a series of attacks on the installation that crosses the increasingly volatile Sinai region, witnesses and state media reported.
The pipeline, which also supplies gas to Jordan, has come under attack at least 12 times since Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was toppled in February 2011, Reuters reported.
The latest blast took place in the Massaeed area west of the Mediterranean coastal town of al-Arish, in north Sinai. Gas pumping was Read more…
Israel, US to hold largest ever missile defense exercise. Thousands of US soldiers will be deployed in Israel.
Last week [11-18 December], Lt.-Gen. Frank Gorenc, commander of the US’s Third Air Force based in Germany, visited Israel to finalize plans for the upcoming drill, expected to see the deployment of several thousand American soldiers in Israel.
The drill, which is unprecedented in its size, will include the establishment of US command posts in Israel and IDF command posts at EUCOM headquarters in Germany – with the ultimate goal of establishing joint task forces in the event of a large-scale conflict in the Middle East.
The US will also bring its Read more…
Speaking to reporters aboard his plane bound for Israel as part of a Middle East tour, Panetta said it was crucial for Israel to shore up its relations with Egypt and other countries in the region that had proved valuable partners in the past.
“There’s not much question in my mind that they maintain that (military) edge. But the question you have to ask is it enough to maintain a military edge, if you’re isolating yourself in the diplomatic arena?” Panetta said.
“At this dramatic time in the Middle East, when there have been so many changes, it’s not a good situation for Israel to become increasingly isolated. And that’s what’s happening,” he said.
Panetta, who was due to meet Israeli and Palestinian leaders on Monday before heading to Read more…
Israel was forced to evacuate its ambassador and most of its diplomatic staff from Cairo this weekend after hundreds of Egyptian protesters tore down a security wall protecting the Nile-side embassy, ransacked its files and burned an Israeli flag. It came less than a week after Turkey, Israel’s other major ally in the Muslim world, announced it was expelling the Israeli ambassador and downgrading its relationship to the lowest possible level after a deadly skirmish involving a Turkish aid vessel that was attempting to Read more…