• ISRAEL \ Mar 04, 2001
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    Barak orders police to tell waqf to halt Mount digging
Barak orders police to tell waqf to halt Mount digging Prime Minister Ehud Barak yesterday asked police to meet the Jerusalem waqf and halt the alleged destruction of antiquities on the Temple Mount, particularly along the Eastern Wall, near the entrance to the underground mosques in the area known as Solomon's stables. The directive to the police followed a letter from the head of the Antiquities Department to the prime minister. A representative from the Public Security Ministry met yesterday with officials from the waqf to seek clarification about the construction and repair work underway. Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami was briefed on the outcome. According to the report, the waqf has not coordinated with police the bulldozing work underway near the Eastern Wall. Dirt and remnants of the ancient walls were removed by the bulldozers without any archaeological supervision. Two arches were revealed parallel to the Eastern Wall - the nature of those arches has not been determined. The Temple Mount Faithful yesterday went to the High Court of Justice to seek a temporary injunction to force the government to enforce a ban on any construction and excavation on the Temple Mount. The movement claims the waqf's work is damaging antiquities "and remnants of the Second Temple.