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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Mughrabi gate on the verge of collapse

The Mughrabi gate, which is the only entrance to the Temple Mount through which non-Muslims are allowed (by the police and the Wakf) to enter, is on the verge of collapse.
Jerusalem District Archaeologist Yochanan Zeligman recently addressed a letter to Israel Antiquities Authority Director-General Shuka Dorfman, in which he warned that “a danger exists to the crowd in the women’s section of the Western Wall Plaza, as well to those who walk on the temporary bridge, should stones fall from above.”

The temporary bridge to which Zeligman referred is a wooden pedestrian pathway to the Temple Mount which was constructed in 2007 after a landslide two years earlier made the earthen ramp leading to the Mugrabi Gate unsafe and in danger of collapse. Zeligman’s letter was based on a report he submitted which determined that since the construction in the Mugrabi Gate has not yet been completed, there are sections which are unsupported and could endanger visitors to the site.

Archaeologist Dr. Gabi Barkai, Jerusalem Prize Winner, member of the Committee for the Prevention of the Destruction of Antiquities on the Temple Mount, and lecturer at Bar Ilan University, spoke with Arutz7 on Thursday and expressed his sorrow that the Mugrabi Bridge is not being maintained for illogical political reasons.

“There was a plan to build a permanent bridge and digging began to place the ‘legs’ for the new bridge,” said Barkai. “Unfortunately, the moment the Antiquities Authority began the work, commotion erupted. Sheikh Raed Salah incited the world against us, claiming that we were damaging the holiness of Islam and harming the foundations of the Al Aqsa Mosque, which was a false and stupid statement.”

Barkai went on to describe commotions that took place and recounted how a delegation from Turkey determined that Israel was indeed damaging a holy Islamic site. Subsequently, said Barkai, the digging stopped after Knesset Minister Raleb Majadele intervened.
The fascinating story of the Mughrabi gate may be found here.


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