Friday, October 23, 2009

Engineer: Excavations Do Not Undermine Temple Mount

From the Jerusalem Post:

Despite recent accusations to the contrary, the chief site engineer for the Western Wall tunnels declared on Thursday that Israeli archeological excavations were not being done under the Temple Mount, were in no way detrimental to the structural stability of the mount or its surroundings, and were actually improving such stability "tenfold."

"There's been a lot of talk about instability [based on ongoing archeological excavations in the area], and let me reassure you, we have improved the structural stability here tenfold over the last few years and have actually strengthened areas where there was danger of further collapse," the chief engineer, Ofer Cohen, said during a Government Press Office-sponsored tour of the tunnels on Thursday afternoon.

Standing in a section of the tunnels known as the "Hall of Ages" - so named because the archeological and subsequent reinforcement work there spans from the First Temple period until today - Cohen and the tour's participants were dwarfed by a series of huge steel beams that had been set up to prevent the walls from caving in.

"To those who say that our work here is causing structural instability, the exact opposite is true," Cohen asserted.

The rest of the story is here.

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