Monday, May 20, 2013

Scuffling at the Mughrabi Gate

According to the Times of Israel, a UNESCO investigative team which was about to visit Jerusalem has been disinvited by Israel. Apparently part of the team's agenda was to investigate the matter of the Mughrabi Gate, which leads from the Kotel (Western Wall) into the Temple Mount compound. We don't have anything intelligent to say about this particular case, but it just so happens that we've got an interesting document about Israelis and Palestinians disagreeing about the Mughrabi Gate.

In early October 1967, four months after the Six Day War, Talmi al-Mukhtashev, head of the Waqf in Jerusalem, sent a letter to Levi Eshkol, Israel's prime minister. If he was in any way cowed by the new rulers, he managed to hide it, as he castigated Israeli actions at the Western Wall and the Mughrabi Gate.
Last month we sent your honor a telegram warning that Israeli forces had taken over the Mughrabi Gate and opened it to the public; we demanded this action be undone and the key to the gate returned to us. We received confirmation of the telegram's arrival, but when no change was seen on the ground we've sent additional letters demanding the same.
The open gate has enabled uncontrolled visits. Muslim worshippers have been cursed, Jewish tourists have misbehaved and some even had picnics and otherwise behave as tourists on the Temple Mount [the original Arabic probably called it Haram A-Sharif]. These events have caused offense to the Muslims, and we demand that the keys be handed back so the Waqf alone will control the area.
A note attached to the letter explained that it had been sent to various officials, including the police, Ministry of Justice and others, but that no answer was intended to the complaint. (File א-7921/3).

No comments:

Post a Comment