We asked: What are the rectangular holes in the giant stone?
Answer: Upon first discovering these rectangular holes in the Huge Stone, archaeologists were puzzled. Further excavation revealed small slabs of stone protruding from the holes, and their purpose became obvious.
Prior to the 12th century, when this area was used as cisterns, the holes were drilled into the Western Wall. The slabs protrudingfrom the holes acted as stabilizers for the plaster lining of the cistern.
There are those who feel that the thickness of the overlaid material is such that it was part of an actual building, as opposed to simple waterproofing.
Many Jews were understandably upset upon learning that the holy Western Wall of the Temple Mount had been defaced for a building project, but that was standard behavior of each new conqueror.
Note that the Israeli government went to great lengths to respect the needs of those living above the tunnel. The structural integrity of their buildings and basements was maintained through an elaborate system of concrete and steel supports. These supports were cantilevered so none of the steel beams actually touches the Western Wall, out of respect for the sanctity of the Wall.
It is no easy task to cater to the variety of sensitivities of Jerusaams actually touches the Western Wall, out of respect for the sanctity of the Wall.
It is no easy task to cater to the variety of sensitivities of Jerusalem's inhabitants.