Israel’s state comptroller published a special report yesterday on Muslim excavations on the Temple Mount. The report concluded what anyone who has followed the issue already knows: The Muslim Waqf (religious trust), in whose hands Israel left day-to-day control of the site when it captured the mount in 1967, has conducted massive excavations without a permit and without the required archaeological salvage digs, often using heavy machinery. In the process, it has irreversibly destroyed an untold number of antiquities.
Yet the report nevertheless included both some new information and a timely reminder. The new information can be derived only by implication, because aside from the conclusion, the entire report was classified, “to guarantee state security and to prevent damaging Israel’s international relations.”