Powered by WebAds

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Main entrance to Temple Mount on the verge of collapse

Haaretz reported on Friday that the main entrance to the Temple Mount - the Mugrabi Gate - is on the verge of collapse.

Just to make sure you all know what we're talking about, the wooden bridge that took away approximately one third of the Western Wall's ladies section is the one on the right side of the picture (with white sheets hanging down from it for the holiday - I took this picture on the morning of the Hoshana Rabba holiday). The original pathway - which has now been closed for about two years, is below and to the right of the wooden covered bridge. The Temple Mount is directly behind the Western Wall, which is straight ahead in the picture. The second picture was taken earlier the same day before sunrise, and I'm not sure you can see the bridge as clearly.
Now let's look at the article:

The ramp leading up to the Mugrabi Gate - the main entrance to Temple Mount serving tourists, security forces and visitors - is in danger of collapse, a Jerusalem municipal engineer has warned.

The ramp has not been in use for more than two years, after part of it collapsed into the Western Wall's women's prayer compound in the winter of 2004 [due to a minor earthquake. CiJ].

A makeshift wooden bridge was built above the ramp. However, after being used by thousands of people daily for almost three years, the bridge is beginning to wobble. Engineers of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation say that the bridge is in danger of falling down and in a few months will no longer be safe.

The bridge was hurriedly erected after the Jerusalem Police District Commander at the time, Miki Levy, declared it a security need. Levy said at the time that it was imperative for the police to have access into Temple Mount on Friday. Meanwhile, the plan for the permanent bridge has been stalled for more than two years, bogged down by red tape among the municipality, police, Public Security Ministry and the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA).

Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch regrets his hasty agreement to build the temporary bridge, which gnaws into the women's prayer compound, reducing it by more than one-third. On Saturdays and especially on holidays the congestion there is insufferable. On the High Holidays emergency services had to evacuate several women who fainted due to the crowding and ushers had to keep many women outside the compound.

Rabinovitch says the authorities might as well close down Mugrabi Gate and bring tourists and security forces to Temple Mount through another gate. He would like the ramp remains, deemed by archaeologists as mere heaps of fill, to be removed, to enlarge the women's compound.


The Defense Ministry has delayed its approval for the project repeatedly - once due to the imminent pullout from Gaza, once due to Ramadan, then due to intelligence tips about intentions to raise foment. The Islamic Movement's Northern Branch issued several warnings against carrying out archaeological work in the collapsed hill of the Mugrabi ramp. The movement said it saw the planned excavations as an attempt to damage the al Aqsa Mosque, and its leaders called on Arab states and Muslims in the world to object to it.
I hope you all realize that if anything on the Temple Mount collapses (and this is not the only area in danger of collapse), Israel will be blamed. What is really to blame - although this article does not say it - is all the digging that the Wakf has done constructing mosques beneath the Temple Mount's surface.

Read the whole thing.


Post a Comment

<< Home