A front-page story in the Al-Ayyam newspaper of Monday, December 23, accuses Israel of scaremongering over the collapse of the southern wall of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
Raif Najam, a Jordanian engineer who undertook an extensive study with four other engineers at the behest of the Israeli authorities, announced that Israeli warnings of the collapse of the wall were unfounded.
The Israeli authorities claim that the Waqf, the Muslim lands authority, has engaged in extensive construction work on the Temple Mount, including the use of bulldozers. They claim that the attempt is to remove Jewish artifacts from the site. Israeli archaeologists argue that this has caused a bulge in the southern wall. Israel is terrified of a collapse of the wall. It will likely be seen in the Arab world as an attempt to destroy the world-famous mosque of Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock, the most obvious symbol of the Jerusalem skyline.
Najam blamed the abnormalities on erratic weather conditions. The Israeli authorities remain unconvinced.