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Old Turkish grenade found in Jerusalem's city wall

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Grenade from Ottoman period found in Jerusalem
  • Someone probably hid the explosive
  • Discovery found during rehab project

(CNN) -- A 100-year-old Turkish hand grenade was found recently during conservation measures near the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City wall, the Israel Antiquities Authority said on Wednesday.

The discovery was made on Monday, when an authority conservation team under the direction of conservator Fuad Abu Taa was "dismantling fragments of a crushed stone that needed to be replaced in the city wall."

The team found "a fist-size chunk of metal in the core of the wall," and police bomb disposal experts were called to the scene because of the object's "metallic shape" and "strange location," the authority said.

After examining the object, officials confirmed that it was "a grenade dating to the Ottoman period and that it contained 200-300 grams of explosives."

Bomb disposal experts removed the old explosive and detonated it.

"The stone was partially crushed and someone probably chose it as a place to hide the hand grenade," said Yoram Saad, head of the Implementation Branch of the Israel Antiquities Authority Conservation Department.

The section of the city wall adjacent to Damascus Gate is currently being treated within the framework of the Jerusalem Walls Conservation Project.

That's a joint effort on the part of the Prime Minister's Office, the Jerusalem Development Authority, the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Jerusalem Municipality.

The work by the conservation team is part of an effort to rehabilitate the Old City walls.