Israel Dig Unveils Aqsa's Islamic Sites

Photos taken by Arab Knesset member Abbas Zakur show two Muslim prayer rooms unearthed in the Israeli excavations near Al-Maghariba Gate, one of Al-Aqsa Mosque's 14 gates.

Israel Dig Unveils Aqsa's Islamic Sites

"We found two prayer rooms at the northern side of a wooden bridge leading to the gate," Zakur said in a statement, a copy of which was sent to on Tuesday, February 27.

"One of the two rooms contains two oil lamps used for lightening," added the statement.

MK Zakur, a leader of the Islamic Movement's southern branch inside the Green Line, toured the dig site accompanied by a representative of Al-Aqsa Society.

The photos taken also show a wall adjacent to the two prayer rooms which might indicate the existence of a mosque that was later demolished.

"We found a full and intact mehrab (a niche in the wall of a mosque that indicates the Qiblah, the direction Muslims take during prayers) east of the two prayer rooms," the statement said.

The Arab Israeli lawmaker accused the authorities of trying to conceal the mehrab by covering it with boards.

Israeli excavations further unearthed works of Islamic architecture including floors and walls dating back to the Mamluk era.

An Islamic-shaped quasi-tomb encircled by stones from the four corners east- and–westwards was also found, according to the statement.

Israeli bulldozers started on February 6 demolishing the wooden bridge leading to Al-Maghariba Gate, sparking widespread protests in the Palestinian lands and Muslim countries.

Israel denies the work poses any risk to the holy site. But Palestinians and Muslims say that the digging is pat of an Israeli scheme to shaken the foundation of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

UNESCO and Turkey have said they would send archeologists to Al-Quds to assess the Israeli excavations.

The UN culture agency has designated the old city of Al-Quds (occupied East Jerusalem) as a world heritage site.

Islamic Waqf 

Zakur ex officio sent a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, urging him to immediately stop the ongoing excavations.

He said the two rooms and mehrab found at the dig site are Islamic waqfs (endowments).

He warned that the demolition of these historical discoveries would result in "bloody confrontations" and unrest in the region.

Last week, archeologist Yuval Baruch of the Israeli Antiquities Authority said that a Muslim prayer room was found in 2004 beneath Al-Maghraiba gate.

In 2004 when the gate's ramp collapsed, a small room was discovered which contained a mehrab facing south.

Activists said the delayed publication of the archaeological find for three years proved the Antiquities Authority has not been truthful.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is the Muslims' first Qiblah and the third holiest shrine after Al Ka'bah in Makkah and Prophet Muhammad's Mosque in Madinah, Saudi Arabia.

Its significance has been reinforced by the incident of Al Isra'a and Al Mi'raj -- the night journey from Makkah to Al-Quds and the ascent to the Heavens by Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be Upon Him).

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16