Waqf Says Israel Didn’t Harm Historical Items

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israeli security forces stand guard on Har Habayis, July 27. (Reuters/Muammar Awad)

The Waqf, the authority which administers Muslim holy sites on Har HaBayis, cleared Israel of any suspicion it caused damage to the mosque or valuable historical items during the two days the area was closed and police searched for weapons during the recent crisis, The Times of Israel reported on Thursday.

The Waqf had designated a panel to ascertain what harm, if any, the Israelis had done, and it reported on Wednesday that it found none.

“There are no deficiencies of historical value in the safety boxes, inventory or exhibits,” the report said.

However, they did the “unjustified searches” that included computer files and private lockers, and that data may have been copied.

The shutdown and search of the area was ordered in the wake of a terrorist attack there in which two Israeli policemen were shot and killed on July 14. Prior to the shootings, the weapons were stashed in the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

According to Yerushalayim Police Chief Yoram Halevi, however, the search was justified. Although no firearms were discovered, various other weapons were:

“We found dozens of knives, slingshots, cudgels, spikes, inciting material, unexploded munitions, stun grenades, binoculars — but we haven’t yet found caches of live ammunition,” he told Army Radio at the time.