Daily Israel Report

Bridge for Jews to Temple Mount May Disappear

Jerusalem’s engineer demands that the ”Mughrabi” bridge for Jews to the Temple Mount be repaired or closed because of dangers.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 10/25/2011, 1:41 PM

Mughbari (Rambam) Bridge
Mughbari (Rambam) Bridge
Flash 90

Jerusalem’s engineer demands that the ”Mughrabi” bridge for Jews to the Temple Mount be repaired or closed because of dangers.

The complaint of its stability could not come at a worse time for Israel. The bridge, also known as the Rambam Gate, has been a potential explosive subject involving Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Jordan.

Jerusalem engineer Shlomo Eshkol wrote a letter to the Western Wall Heritage Foundation and demanded that the safety hazard in the temporary structure be fixed within 30 days. Although “temporary,” the structure has existed for several years after the collapse of the old permanent bridge.

Eshkol said authorization for a new bridge was granted last May, but action has been stalled because all parties involved disagree over who has the authority to tear down the current bridge and finance a new one.

The Western Wall Heritage Foundation and the Western Wall rabbi's office told Arutz Sheva it received Eshkol’s letter Monday evening and still its implications.

Jordan claims authority over the bridge and wants to have responsible for tearing down the “temporary” bridge, building a new one and/or financing a new structure.

The last thing Israel wants is Jordanian and Palestinian Authority workers entering the Western Wall plaza.

The Arab world objects to any Jewish presence in the Old City and previously has warned that a “Third Intifada” will break out if Israel tears down the current structure and builds a new one.

The same site has been the focal point for arguments following an archaeological dig under the bridge. Muslim clerics and the Palestinian Authority have alleged that all Israeli activity in the Temple Mount area is aimed at undermining the foundations of the Al Aqsa mosque so that it will collapse.