Archeologists confirm evidence found of “Third Wall” from Second Temple era in Jerusalem

Israel Antiquities Authority confirm findings from excavation from 2015; Findings correlate to historian Josephus’ account of the siege of Jerusalem by the Romans


Photo: IAA Yoli Schwartz

Israel’s Antiquities Authority (IAA) confirmed they have found the site in which the Romans breached the Second Temple in Jerusalem. They also announced they have found significant evidence proving the existence of the protective “Third Wall” of the Second Temple.

The Authority announced on Thursday that the site, which was a battleground of the Roman assault on Jerusalem led by Titus, was found in the Russian Compound area of Jerusalem during an excavation in winter of 2015. Archeologists have been studying their findings since then and now can confirm the historical discovery. Their findings prove there was a third wall that was built to protect the Second Temple.

The findings also correlate with the account of historian and eyewitness to the battle, Josephus. Josephus, a Roman-Jewish historian, wrote at length of the “Third Wall”, describing in his work “The Jewish War” of the construction of the wall by Agrippa I and then fortification of the wall ahead of the Great Revolt. He also described the wall in his account of the battle as beginning “at the tower Hippicus, whence it reached as far as the north quarter of the city, and the tower Psephinus”, the description correlating with the findings and evidence of the wall from the excavation.

Archeologists from the excavation, Dr. Rina Avner and Kfir Arbib, released the following statement on the findings “This is a fascinating testimony of the intensive bombardment by the Roman army, led by Titus, on their way to conquering the city and destroying the Second Temple. The bombardment was intended to attack the sentries guarding the wall and provide cover for the Roman forces so they could approach the wall with battering rams and thereby breach the city’s defenses… It seems that the new discovery in the Russian Compound is proof of the wall’s existence in this area.”

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Russia warns United States of “painful” and “asymmetrical” response to any new sanctions

Russia threatens USA with “painful” and “asymmetrical” response; Russia votes in bill suspending plutonium-disposal treaty with the United States


Russia warned on Wednesday of “asymmetrical” and “painful” response if the United States were to place new or tougher sanctions on Russia.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov made the remarks to Russian lawmakers on Wednesday after the United States and United Kingdom talks on possible toughening of sanctions on Russia Sunday. He stated “If the US opts to further toughen sanctions in defiance of common sense and in disregard of its experience that has already been quite painful for them, then we will find measures in our toolbox that will have a painful impact, particularly in terms of America’s positioning in the world.”

Later on Wednesday, Russia’s lower house of Parliament voted in a bill to suspend the Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement with the United States, employing the Vienna Convention. A reported 445 voted in favor, with one abstention from the 450-member Russian State Duma. Russia cited the decision and bill to “hostile actions” by the United States.

The bill passed will “suspend the agreement between the Russian and the US governments on the disposition of plutonium, designated as plutonium no longer required for defense purposes, its use and cooperation in this field.”

IDF seeks revisions in military coordination with Russia in Syria

Following S-300 deployment in Syria, Israel requests revisions in ongoing military coordination with Russia; Russia completes delivery of S-300 to Iran


The IDF has approached Russia’s Defense Ministry and requested to revise its military coordination with Russia in Syria. The request comes over a week following Russia’s deployment of its S-300 air defense missile system in Tartus, Syria.

There was no official report of the request, the report released in Russia’s Izvestia. The Russian newspaper reported that Israel requested to develop new procedures, as well as “open-fire rules” to existing coordination between the IDF and Russian military.

The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed the deployment, claiming the “purely defensive system” as “no threat to anyone”.

Israel and Russia agreed to military coordination in Syria in December of 2015. Following a meeting between Prime Minister Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Netanyahu clarified that “There is ongoing and continuous military coordination between us” and that “We [Israel] do not accept or owe Russia limitations on our freedom to act.”

In August, Iran deployed its newly purchased S-300 missile system from Russia at its underground nuclear site Fordo. Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ claimed the deployment was for protection, claiming then “Our main priority is to protect Iran’s nuclear facilities under any circumstances.”

Earlier this week, Russia’s RIA news agency confirmed it completed its delivery of the S-300 system to Iran.


Israel suspends cooperation with UNESCO following Jerusalem resolution

Bennett officially suspends cooperation with UN organization; UNESCO director-general claims “heritage of Jerusalem is indivisible”


Israel officially suspended cooperation with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Friday after the organization adopted a resolution that officially denies Jewish heritage and history to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Thursday.

Israel’s Education Minister and head of Israel’s National Commission for UNESCO Naftali Bennett notified UNESCO’s Director General Irina Bokova of the suspended cooperation, stating “Following the shameful decision by UNESCO members to deny history and ignore thousands of years of Jewish ties to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, I have notified the Israel National Commission for UNESCO to suspend all professional activities with the international organization.”

Bennett’s suspension, alongside several efforts by Israeli officials, including a letter written by Israel’s former foreign minister Tzipi Livni to Bokoya, resulted in a response from the UNESCO head Saturday. Bokoya claimed that “The heritage of Jerusalem is indivisible, and each of its communities has a right to the explicit recognition of their history and relationship with the city… To deny, conceal or erase any of the Jewish, Christian or Muslim traditions undermines the integrity of the site, and runs counter to the reasons that justified its inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage list. When these divisions carry over into UNESCO, an organization dedicated to dialogue and peace, they prevent us from carrying out our mission.”