JERUSALEM, Nov. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- A group of 150 Israeli citizens,
which represent a broad cross section of the Israeli public, have initiated
an unprecedented criminal prosecution of WAQF (Islamic trust) leaders in
Jerusalem -- alleging that Islamic officials have engaged in the deliberate
destruction of ancient Jewish relics on the Temple Mount. The indictment
was filed in the Jerusalem District Court today by means of a private law
suit. The private indictment is first of its kind in Israeli legal history
and utilizes a seldom applied section of the criminal code. If convicted,
the WAQF officials face years in prison.
The legal action, which is led by Shurat HaDin - Israel Law Center,
accuses members of the Islamic Trust ("the WAQF") of the intentional
demolishing of priceless Jewish artifacts, including the remains of the
In recent months the WAQF has brought in bulldozers and heavy digging
equipment to carry out "renovations". Israeli archaeologists who have
sifted through the discarded earth were shocked to have discovered a great
number of Jewish artifacts brutally trashed by the bulldozers. A wall from
the outer courtyard of the Second Temple is believed to have been
The court papers contend that the recent accelerated destruction is
part of a four decade long campaign by the WAQF to eradicate all evidence
of the historical Jewish connection and claim to the Temple Mount.
After liberating the Old City in 1967, Israel permitted the WAQF to
remain as "custodians" of the Temple Mount, Judaism's holiest site.
Shurat HaDin alleges that the Israeli government, in its political
cowardice, has consistently refused to undertake any concrete actions to
stop the criminal activities of the WAQF -- thus abandoning the millenniums
long Jewish claim over the Temple Mount and allowing Islamic extremists to
re-write Jerusalem's history.
Shurat HaDin Director Nitsana Darshan-Leitner: "This private
prosecution in an unprecedented response to the brutal attempt by the WAQF
extremist to eradicate any Jewish claim over the Temple Mount. The WAQF
leaders belong in prison and since Israel's government is refusing to
protect Jewish heritage and property, we will prosecute the WAQF ourselves.
This legal action is a moral obligation, not only for the Jewish people,
but also for the Christian community, which has significant interests in
safeguarding the Temple Mount as well."
Contacts: info@ israellawcenter.org
(Israel) Tel.: 03-751-4175
(US) Tel.: 212-591-0073
SOURCE Shurat HaDin - Israel Law Center