Monday, August 15, 2022

The Parker Expedition Postscript

Over a three year period, between 1909 and 1911,  Montagu Parker oversaw an excavation near, and then in, the Temple Mount.


In April 1911 they bribed the guardian of the Haram al-Sharif to let them dig in the Dome of the Rock. They were discovered and riots and disorder broke out.

But what happened to the local officials?

We know that Governor Azmey Bey was fined $25,000 for allowing a dig in oriental disguise on the Temple grounds after dark. Historians have noted that Azmey Bey included Sheikh Khalil al-Ansari, the superintendent of the Haram, in this agreement and 'An angry crowd of Muslims and Jews', "united for this one and only time in their indignation", tried to lynch Sheikh Khalil al-Ansari and the translator Hagop Makasdar in Jerusalem. Only the arrest by Ottoman soldiers saved their lives. (Al-Ansari was later executed; Makasdar, the only member of the expedition whose authorities could get hold of him, was sentenced to prison.

More in this book.

According to Ha-Herut newspaper published in Jerusalem, in its December 11, 1912 edition, there was a trial

and we know that Khalil was given a year's imprisonment, his sons, Hassan and Said were given three months imprisonment and Anoub, head of the gendarmerie, and two other security officials were sentenced to a month each. Having been incarcerated during their trial for more than that period, they were immediately released.


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