Excavation of Siloam Pool Road Leads to New Political Clash Between Israelis and Palestinians

Excavations continue of the Pilgrimage Road, which dates to the Second Temple period, in Jerusalem. Photo by Koby Harati, City of David

A recent ceremony marking the excavation of a road that archaeologists believe was used by biblical-era Jewish pilgrims — perhaps even Jesus — has drawn fire from Palestinians, who accuse Israeli and U.S. officials of trying to “Judaize” Jerusalem.

The controversy is the latest political skirmish between Israelis and Palestinians over archaeological excavations.

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and U.S. Middle East special envoy Jason Greenblatt attended the event Sunday (June 30), along with Israeli officials and archaeologists. The City of David Foundation hosted the ceremony.

Excavations continue of the Pilgrimage Road, which dates to the Second Temple period, in Jerusalem. Photo by Koby Harati, City of David

The road, which was at ground level 2,000 years ago but is now below ground, extends from the Siloam Pool (Shiloach in Hebrew) just outside the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem to the southern part of the Western Wall.

From there, pilgrims would have ascended to the Second Jewish Temple, on what is today’s Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif, via a stairway.

According to the Gospel of John (9:1-11), Jesus healed the blind man at the Siloam Pool.

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Source: Religion News Service