Western Wall dig uncovers ancient Roman theatre

Joe Uziel of the Israel Antiquities Authority sitting on the steps of the Roman theater structure uncovered in the Western Wall tunnels, Oct. 16, 2017. (Yaniv Berman, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority)
Joe Uziel of the Israel Antiquities Authority sitting on the steps of the Roman theater structure uncovered in the Western Wall tunnels, Oct. 16, 2017. (Yaniv Berman, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority)

Joe Uziel of the Israel Antiquities Authority sitting on the steps of the Roman theatre structure uncovered in the Western Wall tunnels, Oct. 16, 2017. (Yaniv Berman, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – An ancient Roman theatre was uncovered during excavations of the Western Wall tunnels in Jerusalem.

The discovery of the 200-seat theater structure from the Roman period confirms historical writings that describe a theatre near the Temple Mount, the Israel Antiquities Authority said in a statement Monday. [Read more…]

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Three Israeli Arabs arrested for planning attack on Temple Mount

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Three Israeli Arabs, including a 16-year-old, were arrested for planning a shooting on the Temple Mount.

The suspects, all from Umm al-Fahm, a city of mostly Israeli Arabs near Haifa in northern Israel, are supporters of the Islamic State, the Israel Security Agency, or Shin Bet, said in a statement issued Thursday. One possessed weapons to carry out the attack, which was to be modeled after one in July that killed two Israeli Border Police officers. [Read more…]

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Jewish lawmakers ascend Temple Mount in trial visit

Knesset member Yehuda Glick speaking with the press at the Western Wall Plaza after visiting the Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem’s Old City, Aug. 29, 2017. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Knesset member Yehuda Glick speaking with the press at the Western Wall Plaza after visiting the Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem’s Old City, Aug. 29, 2017. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Knesset member Yehuda Glick speaking with the press at the Western Wall Plaza after visiting the Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem’s Old City, Aug. 29, 2017. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Two Jewish Knesset members visited the Temple Mount – the first time lawmakers have been allowed there since October 2015 – as part of a trial to gauge whether such visits can be reinstated.

Yehuda Glick of the Likud party and Shuli Mualem-Refaeli of Jewish Home visited the site Tuesday morning. Arab-Israeli lawmakers from the Joint Arab List boycotted the trial visit. [Read more…]

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Likud lawmaker Yehuda Glick sets up office outside Temple Mount to protest ban on visits

Likud lawmaker Yehuda Glick sitting outside the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem in protest on the ban on Knesset members visiting the site, Aug. 14, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Likud lawmaker Yehuda Glick sitting outside the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem in protest on the ban on Knesset members visiting the site, Aug. 14, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Likud lawmaker Yehuda Glick sitting outside the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem in protest on the ban on Knesset members visiting the site, Aug. 14, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

(JTA) – Yehuda Glick, an Israeli lawmaker from the Likud party, held office hours outside an entrance to the Temple Mount to protest an ongoing ban against Knesset members visiting the holy site.

Glick, a long-time activist for Jewish prayer rights at the Temple Mount, told reporters that the action Monday would only last one day. [Read more…]

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Temple Mount saw record number of Israeli visitors, despite tensions

A group of Jewish worshippers at the Temple Mount complex in Jerusalem, Nov. 7, 2016. (Sebi Berens/Flash90)

A group of Jewish worshippers at the Temple Mount complex in Jerusalem, Nov. 7, 2016. (Sebi Berens/Flash90)

(JTA) – July saw the largest number of Israelis visiting the Temple Mount in any single month since it came under Israeli control in 1967.

Some 3,200 people visited the site, which is holy to both Jews and to Muslims, who refer to the compound as Haram al Sharif, Army Radio reported Friday. In previous years, approximately 11,000 Israelis visited the site annually. [Read more…]

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Israel’s Sephardi chief rabbi criticizes Jewish visitors to Temple Mount

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel’s Sephardi chief rabbi and Jordan’s foreign minister criticized the record number of Jews who visited the Temple Mount on Tisha B’Av.

In a public message on Tuesday afternoon, Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef said, according to Israel National News, that on ninth day of Av, the day the Temple was destroyed, “it is imperative to recall that the pilgrimage to the Temple Mount is forbidden by Jewish law. Those Jews who ascend to the Temple Mount desecrate its sanctity.” [Read more…]

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Record number of Jews visit Temple Mount

A group of Jewish worshippers at the Temple Mount complex in Jerusalem, Nov. 7, 2016. (Sebi Berens/Flash90)

A group of Jewish worshippers at the Temple Mount complex in Jerusalem, Nov. 7, 2016. (Sebi Berens/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – More than 1,000 Jews visited the Temple Mount, a new record for number of Jewish visitors in one day.

At least 1,046 Jews visited the site on Tuesday, the observance of Tisha B’Av, by early afternoon. More were expected to visit later in the day when the site reopens to visitors, Haaretz reported, citing Jewish Temple Mount activists. [Read more…]

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ZAKA establishes Kohanim unit for future Temple Mount attacks

JERUSALEM (JTA) – The ZAKA search and rescue organization has established a Kohanim unit to respond to future attacks on the Temple Mount.

The unit announced on Sunday was formed by the Haredi organization in the wake of the July 14 terror attack on the Temple Mount, in which three Arab-Israeli men attacked and killed two Druze Israel Police officers at the site holy to Jews and Muslims. [Read more…]

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