The Al Aqsa mosque was of course purposefully built on top of the remains of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem as a sign of Islamic triumphalism.
Israeli television broadcast footage of a mechanical digger at the site which Israeli archaeologists visited on Thursday.
Television said the pipework carried out by the office of Muslim religious affairs, or Waqf, is about 1.5 metres deep and about 100 metres long.
The compound, which houses both Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, is located in east Jerusalem, which Israel occupied in 1967 and then annexed. It is the third holiest site in Islam after Mecca and Medina...
The First Temple was built by King Solomon in seven years during the 10th century BCE in 957 BCE. It was the center of ancient Judaism and has remained a focal point for Jewish services over the millennia. The Temple replaced the Tabernacle of Moses and the Tabernacles at Shiloh, Nov, and Givon as the central focus of Jewish faith. This First Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BCE, and was rebuilt seventy years later by Cyrus the Great in 516 BCE. Centuries later, it was renovated by Herod in about 20 BCE, and this Second Temple was subsequently destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE. All of the outer walls still stand, although the Temple itself has long since been destroyed, and for many years it was believed that the western wall of the complex was the only wall standing.
Scholarly estimates of the time of Abraham in what was then known as Salem (later Jerusalem) are between the 17th and 20th Centuries BC.