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Yet because the project is being carried out in secret and funded by a settler organisation, many residents think it is part of a plan to take over -- or destroy -- Haram al-Sharif.
"If it is an archaeological site and not a settlement, if it is a tourist site, then why can't we go and see it? Why can't anyone see it?" Ahmed Qarain, 37, a local resident asks.
"Nobody knows how long these tunnels are and how far they have excavated so far," Mizrachi says. "Nobody knows anything."