Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Synagogue opened near Al-Aqsa Mosque

Mohammed Mar’i | Arab News

RAMALLAH: Israel yesterday opened the reconstructed Ohel Yitzhak (Tent of Isaac) synagogue in East Jerusalem’s Muslim quarter, 80 meters from the Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound.

Israeli Channel 7 TV said that Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich and relatives of American billionaire Irwin Moskowitz attended the opening ceremony.

Rabinovich said that Moskowitz, the owner of Ohel Yitzhak who has been active in settling Jews in Muslim areas of East Jerusalem, gave the Western Wall Heritage Foundation the right to manage the synagogue site and the excavations.

The goal of the excavation is “to reveal the Jewish people’s past,” said Rabinovich. He said the heritage foundation has the right to operate throughout the old city, and that he is unaware of a need to ask permission from Muslim quarter residents who live near the excavation site.

The property, located between the Cotton Merchants Gate and the Heavy Chain Gate, was purchased by the Hungarian Jewish community in 1867. The structure was erected in 1917 and blown up by Jordanian shelling in 1948.

The Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage said that the Western Wall Heritage Foundation and the Israel Antiquities Authority constructed a network of tunnels and excavations in Jerusalem’s old city to link Ohel Yitzhak in the Muslim quarter with the Western Wall tunnels in the Jewish quarter.

Source: arabnews


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