Israel stops Muslim burials near Temple Mount

Tuesday, May 29, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

Israel has for the past several months been preventing Muslims from burying their dead in a patch of land outside the Temple Mount walls designated as an archeological site, reported Ha'aretz.

A Muslim cemetery already stretches along the south-eastern wall of the Temple Mount in an attempt to block the prophesied return of Israel's Messiah through the Golden Gate.

A few years ago, local Muslims decided to extend the cemetery by taking over adjacent land belonging to Israel's Antiquities Authority.

Jerusalem police originally refused to take action, fearing that halting the burials would lead to violent Muslim riots.

But a recent petition backed by leading Israeli academics, archeologists and political figures convinced the High Court and Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter to put an end to the illegal Muslim activity.

Top archeologists said the area the Muslims were trying to take over has huge historical significance. They hope to one day soon excavate there and learn more about the First and Second Temples that once stood on the location.

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