Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Mughrabi Bridge Construction Delay Recommended

Haaretz carries a story similar to that noted here yesterday in Ynetnews, reporting that Israel is “shocked” that Jordan would lie about their agreement with Israel.

They follow up with another in which the police recommend that construction on the bridge be delayed from next week until September, when presumably the eyes of the world will be on the UN’s debate over statehood for the Palestinians. From Haaretz:

Ever since an earthen ramp leading to the gate collapsed in 2005 and was replaced by a temporary wooden bridge, the security establishment has been dragging its feet over building a more permanent structure to link the Temple Mount entrance to the Western Wall plaza.

In recent weeks security officials have been engaged in feverish debate over when to begin work.

[...]

Police officials at the meeting contradicted the municipal officials' assessment that the current bridge was unsafe, and said it did not need replacing right now.

[...]

However the adviser to the Jerusalem District of the police said that any violation of the status quo on the Temple Mount would rally Arab opposition and lead to riots throughout the capital.

The adviser said that it would be best to postpone construction until September when the attention of the Arab would not be focused on Jerusalem because of the expected vote on Palestinian statehood in the United Nations at that time.

Other officials in the police's Jerusalem District said they believed quiet will prevail in Jerusalem because the East Jerusalem Arab community rejects what they see as disruptive influences like the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement.

The full story is here.

It’s worth remembering that this debate is not about the Temple Mount itself but an external access route to the Temple Mount. Sensitivities in Jerusalem are high. See yesterday’s post for links to the history of this issue.

HT: Joseph Lauer

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