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Monday, November 28, 2011

Mughrabi Gate construction delayed by Prime Minister

Those of you who have been reading for a while can probably guess - more or less - what happened last night. I took Mrs. Carl out to dinner, came home, sat down in front of the computer to post some more... and promptly fell asleep. Eventually, I dragged myself out of my chair into bed. That's what I get for having a meal cooked with wine for dinner on a weeknight.... (For those in Israel wondering how we can afford to go out to dinner, I buy vouchers once in a while on a site called eluna.com at a substantial discount. Anyone who wants more details can send me an email).

Fearful of causing riots in the Arab world on the date of the Egyptian elections, Prime Minister Netanyahu asked the city of Jerusalem to postpone the beginning of the demolition of the bridge to Mughrabi Gate (pictured), which was scheduled to take place on Sunday. The bridge - which is unsafe - is to be destroyed and a new access to the Temple Mount via Mughrabi Gate is to be constructed.
According to the report, work on the bridge – which received approval in March – was to have begun early Sunday morning. The initial work of demolishing the existing structure would have necessitated the deployment of large IDF and security forces in Jerusalem and around the Temple Mount, as well as stepped-up army preparedness in the West Bank.

Channel 2 reported Cairo and Amman warned Jerusalem the work would likely lead to “disruptions” in both Jordan and Egypt.

Officials in both the Prime Minister’s Office and the Jerusalem Municipality refused Sunday night to comment on the reports.

Previous work on the bridge caused widespread rioting in neighborhoods throughout the Jerusalem area and in Jordan.

Jordan’s Awkaf Islamic Affairs and Holy Places Ministry warned that were Israel to begin to take down the Mughrabi Bridge, the move would likely ignite protests throughout Jordan, which could eventually spread to the West Bank, according to the Channel 2 report.

Under the plans, a permanent bridge is to be built to replace the current temporary wooden structure that has been in use since a 2003 earthquake and winter storm caused part of the original bridge to collapse. The bridge is used as the main entry point for non-Muslim tourists and security forces entering the Temple Mount.
Where else in the world does a construction project lead to riots? But like the last time, we will have to set up a web cam so you can all watch what's going on and make sure we're not constructing the Third Temple up there.

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