Another in my ongoing posts from Israel:
Today I toured areas of the Western Wall in Jerusalem I had not previously seen.
The Wife insisted on placing notes she had prepared and also brought with her at the request of others high into this section of the wall, thereby increasing the chance they would not be removed too quickly.
The area is filled with excavations, which give rise to conspiracy theories and threats of violence in the Muslim world that Israel is trying to destroy the Dome of the Rock.
We then toured the Western Wall tunnels. I learned a history of which I was not aware. The visible wall is only part of the original wall, and depending on location, it extends as much as three stories below street/ground level. The reason for this is that the Old City was built on stone arches around the Wall, creating the tunnels. (More info. here)
The tunnel tour starts at the Kotel but exits into the Arab section of the Old City. As we approached the exit, the guide told us not to worry, they always assign two guards (one in front, one in back) to escort visitors from the tunnel exit through the Arab section, and that we should follow the lead guard and not stop. Okay, two guards, no stopping, nothing to worry about here.
Just as we were about to exit, we were stopped by the guards and told to turn around, walk back the length of the tunnels back to the Kotel, because there were “issues” in the Arab section.
When I checked tonight, I found out what those “issues” were, via Times of Israel, 15 injured in Jerusalem rock-throwing attacks:
Fifteen Israelis were injured in Jerusalem on Thursday in two separate stone-throwing incidents near the Old City.
In the early afternoon, Arabs threw rocks at a bus driving past the Damascus Gate. A family of 12 — two parents and 10 children ranging in age from 1 to 19 — were injured along with another man and his son.
Paramedics arrived at the scene to administer first aid. Four of the injured were taken to Shaare Zedek hospital, one in moderate condition. The others were injured lightly, some suffering from shock.
Earlier in the day, an Israeli was injured lightly during a similar incident….
Police are not sure at this point what motivated the uptick in attacks, but Ben Rubi suggested that political developments or observance of the month of Ramadan could have played a role.
Trouble is never more than a stone’s throw away in Israel.
The good news is that because we had to exit through the Kotel, I got a chance on my last day in Jerusalem to put my own note in the Wall (mine is the one rolled up in the center top):
Prior posts from my ongoing trip to Israel:
- What explains Americans’ strong support for Israel?
- Trying to explain the Tea Party in Israel
- This Night In Jerusalem
- Good morning, Tel Aviv
- Leavin’ on a jet plane
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