Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Dung Gate shoveling begins anew

Here we go again.
Can you dig it? On again, off again; and what carries more weight? Archaeo-politics or getting to grips with antiquity? These politicians are dancing with persistence and a certain flair for publicity. This excavatikon is worth watching, to see how the Arab world responds and to see what is unearthed. MOst seems to be Byzantine rubble so far, according to Izzy Bee's sources.

"If political elements want to use the IAA as an umbrella, the minister's eye is watching and he will not allow any work to be done that invites friction and disturbances during this period of diplomatic negotiations. I am glad that the prime minister supports the policy of creating understanding and tranquility in order to protect the holy places," Majadele said.

The phrase "removing any find that is not archaeological" refers to all Palestinian finds and most of those of the Ottoman period. The Turkish English-language daily Today's Zaman recently published a report stating that a team of Turkish experts who had examined the excavations at the Mughrabi walkway recommended that Israel stop work immediately.

The team's report said that Israel was attempting to disrupt Jerusalem's history by stressing the Jewish aspect of Jerusalem, and that the excavations were part of a plan to destroy cultural elements from the Islamic period in Jerusalem. The report also stated that "the large amount of soil extraction shown to our mission along the Wailing Wall give the impression that this is an intervention of great scale and depth and that this intervention goes beyond scientific purpose."

Attorney Danny Zeidman, legal counsel to the Ir Amim association, which appealed the ministerial committee's decision to the attorney general, said Sunday that an internal contradiction existed between the cabinet decision's call for "transparency" and "coordination" and decisions of an operative nature.

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