Jerusalem / since 1967 / Tunnelling beneath the Wailing Wall

“…The Western/Wailing Wall, the closest spot to which they could approach the original position of the destroyed Jewish temples, became one of the most important places of worship for the Jews. The Western Wall is but one of the four monumental enclosure walls surrounding the Temple Mount…” (Jewish Virtual Library, source Israel Foreign Ministry 1998)

It was not until after the Six-Day war that the Jews had an opportunity to explore the remnants of this wall which had only a small portion of it that was exposed.

“… Since most of the wall was blocked by buildings which were in contemporary use, the wall in its entirety could not be exposed. Instead, a man-made tunnel was excavated along the entire length of the west wall, underneath these buildings. Care was taken to ensure structural support of the buildings above. It should be stressed that throughout all the work in this project, the tunnel was excavated outside of the Temple Mount itself. Needless to say, the tunnel was never in the vicinity of the mosques on the Temple Mount… this tunneling as well was not conducted under or on the Temple Mount itself, and it is situated some 200-300 meters away from the Mosques on the Temple Mount. In other words, there was and is no archaeological or structural damage to the various historic Islamic edifices on or around the Temple Mount.” (Jewish Virtual Library, source Israel Foreign Ministry 1998)

The extracts clearly indicate that much care had been taken to avoid any form of contact with the Temple Mount. This reinforces the fact that even following 1967, development of the city of Jerusalem (tunneling) strictly maintains the separation between the Palestinians Muslims and the Jews. It can be further observed that the monument (the Wailing wall) provoked by religion (Jews) and also restricted by it (Muslims), acted as a provocation for the underground development in the city of Jerusalem.

WailingWall(1898-1914)
WailingWall(1898-1914)
Paratroopers at the wall (1967)
Paratroopers at the wall (1967)
The Wailing wall modern times
The Wailing wall modern times

Reference:

– The Jewish History Resource Centre, The Dinur Center for research in Jewish History, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem http://jewishhistory.huji.ac.il/links/jerusalem.htm#western wall

– Jewish Virtual Library, source Israel Foreign Ministry (1998)

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