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Ancient Papyrus Discovered In Israel Confirms Jews’ Claim To Temple Mount: ‘UNESCO Received Letter from the Past’

Israel announced the discovery of an ancient papyrus fragment with Hebrew text that proves the Jews’ claim to the Holy City.
Israeli border police officers walk past the Dome of the Rock on the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City. As Jordan joins a military campaign against Islamic State militants in Syria, tensions in Jerusalem pose a potentially bigger risk to a nation only slightly scathed by the turmoil sweeping the Middle East. Picture taken November 5, 2014.

Reuters/Ammar Awad

Israel announced the discovery of an ancient papyrus fragment with Hebrew text that proves the Jews’ claim to the Holy City.

The announcement came at the heels of a new resolution passed Wednesday by UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee that denied the Jews’ ties to the Temple Mount and other holy sites in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emphasized the importance of the ancient find, saying it was written in Hebrew and not in any other language, and it mentioned Jerusalem by name.

"This letter is 2,700 years old and ... written in Hebrew -- not Arabic, not Aramaic, not Greek, not Latin – Hebrew," Netanyahu said while giving a speech at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel Hayom reported. “UNESCO just received a letter from the past, which explains, in Hebrew, our bond to Jerusalem and its centrality to our people."

Netanyahu was referring to two UNESCO resolutions passed just within days of each other that both denied the Jews’ claim and connection with the Temple Mount, indicating the area is holy only to the Muslims.

The resolution passed on Wednesday, which referred to the Temple Mount by its Islamic name, received 10 votes of yes. Eight countries abstained and two opposed, while one country was absent from the 21-member Heritage committee.

Last week, UNESCO passed another resolution declaring that the Jews are not connected with the Temple Mount and the Western Wall. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the decision “bizarre.”

He said denying the Jews’ link to these holy sites is like saying ”China has no connection to the Great Wall of China, and Egypt has no connection to the pyramids … I believe that the historical truth is more powerful, and will prevail.”

The papyrus fragment, being 2,700 years old, is the second oldest known source, next to the Bible, that mentions Jerusalem. It dates back to the First Temple period, during which Jerusalem was the capital of Judah.

The historical find was retrieved from antiquities robbers who plundered a cave in the Judean Desert.

The text in the papyrus appeared to be a part of a shipping document. The full text reads: “From the king’s maidservant, from Na’arat, jars of wine, to Jerusalem,” The New York Times reported.

According to the Israel Antiquities Authority, the place called Na’arat was mentioned in the book of Joshua (16:7).

Also this week, archaeologists announced the discovery of a site where the Roman army attacked Jewish forces at Jerusalem’s outer walls. The assault was dated to have taken place during the Second Temple period, according to Charisma News.

There was no evidence pointing to any Palestinian presence in the old city, proving the holy sites’ connection with the Jews.

Tags : Israel, Israel Temple Mount, Israel holy sites, Western Wall, Israel Western Wall, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel Antiquities Authority, UNESCO Temple Mount resolution, World Heritage Committee Temple Mount resolution, UNESCO, World Heritage Committee, UNESCO resolution on Temple Mount