Boulder falls from Jerusalem's Western Wall, barely missing worshipper

By Jeffrey Heller JERUSALEM (Reuters) - An elderly worshipper had a close call on Monday when a 100-kg (220 lb) stone suddenly fell from Jerusalem's Western Wall and crashed at her feet. The Israel Antiquities Authority said the boulder may have been dislodged by erosion caused by vegetation or moisture in the biblical wall, the holiest place where Jews are permitted to pray. 'I didn't hear or feel anything until it landed right at my feet,' Daniella Goldberg, a 79-year-old Jerusalem resident who had gone to the wall in the early morning to worship, told Reuters

Reuters July 24, 2018 00:07:19 IST
Boulder falls from Jerusalem's Western Wall, barely missing worshipper

Boulder falls from Jerusalems Western Wall barely missing worshipper

By Jeffrey Heller

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - An elderly worshipper had a close call on Monday when a 100-kg (220 lb) stone suddenly fell from Jerusalem's Western Wall and crashed at her feet.

The Israel Antiquities Authority said the boulder may have been dislodged by erosion caused by vegetation or moisture in the biblical wall, the holiest place where Jews are permitted to pray.

"I didn't hear or feel anything until it landed right at my feet," Daniella Goldberg, a 79-year-old Jerusalem resident who had gone to the wall in the early morning to worship, told Reuters.

A security camera captured the rare occurrence at the site revered by Jews as a remnant of the compound of the Second Temple destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.

One of Islam's holiest sites, the Noble Sanctuary, where al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock stand, lies above.

The footage showed the stone falling from a height of about seven metres (23 feet) in a nearly vacant section of the wall adjacent to its picture-postcard main plaza, where Jewish worshippers traditionally cram written prayers into crevices.

Just a day earlier, worshippers had flocked to the holy site for Tisha B'Av, an annual Jewish day of mourning that marks the destruction of the two Biblical temples in Jerusalem.

"A great miracle occurred when a stone weighing about 100 kilos fell near the worshipper and did not hurt her," Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said in a statement.

The Jerusalem municipality temporarily closed the section for a safety inspection. It is built near piles of boulders believed to date to the time of the Second Temple.

The main Western Wall esplanade remained open.

A 2014 study by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem charted erosion in the different kinds of limestone that make up the Western Wall and said it a problem for engineers concerned about its stability.

(Editing by Ros Russell)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.