Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15-16

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Jerusalem municipality orders closure of bridge leading to Temple Mount

The Jerusalem municipality has ordered the immediate closure of the Mughrabi Bridge in the old city, which leads from the Western Wall Plaza to the Temple Mount, saying it poses a danger to the public since it is on the verge of collapse.
In a letter to the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, the Jerusalem municipality's engineer, Shlomo Eshkol, said he intends on ordering the "immediate closure of the structure" and "completely prohibit its use."
According to the regulations, the Western Wall Heritage Foundation has seven days to submit its objections to the order.
Jerusalem municipality officials stressed that the wooden bridge poses a severe security threat since it is highly flammable and in danger of collapsing. They warned that if a fire breaks out it could spread to the Temple Mount.
The municipality said that only a small number of security officials will be able to use the bridge, and only under urgent circumstances.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed the Jerusalem municipality two weeks ago to postpone the demolition of the Mughrabi Bridge, which was already due to begin.
Netanyahu's bureau had asked the municipality to postpone the work due to the sensitivity of the issue and warnings from Egypt that the action would focus protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Israel.
A new bridge is meant to replace the wooden structure built over the Mughrabi Ramp, which partially collapsed following a storm in 2004. The dismantling of the ramp in 2007 led to protests in the Muslim world and international criticism.
The dispute over the bridge has now become a key issue in Egypt's elections. The Muslim Brotherhood's spiritual leader, Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, called Thursday on Jordanian King Abdullah to dissuade Israel from replacing the ramp.
Qaradawi claims that Israel wants to replace the bridge to ease access by settlers and its security forces to the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Posters were put up at Cairo's Al-Azhar University calling on Muslims to protect the mosque.


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