Mughrabi Gate bridge is back on the agenda

From the Jerusalem Post:

A plan for the renovation of the Mughrabi Gate bridge, which leads from the Western Wall plaza to the Al-Aksa Mosque and the Temple Mount, received final approval from the Jerusalem Municipality last week, enabling construction to begin at any time.

Previous work on the bridge has sparked widespread rioting and violence in both east Jerusalem and the Arab world due to the sensitive location.

The wooden replacement bridge to the Mughrabi Gate and the excavations of the ramp. Photo: Leen Ritmeyer

We reported on the problems of the construction of a new bridge here, here and here.

A section through the Mughrabi ramp, with the Western wall Plaza at left and the Temple Mount excavations at right. © Leen Ritmeyer

“This drawing is a section through the dirt ramp leading up to the Mughrabi Gate. The ramp is in the middle of the drawing. On the left is the Western Wall Plaza, reserved for Jewish worship. On the right of the section is the excavated area with, on the bottom, the Herodian street, with the stones which were thrown down by the Romans in 70 AD. Immediately above this level, remains of the Byzantine period were found, including a water channel cut into the Herodian stones for use in a bath house. Above this level, the remains of a large Ummayad palace was found, which used a similar water channel, cut higher in the Herodian stones of the Western Wall. No Crusader remains have so far been found in this area.”

It will be interesting to see what will happen now. Approval may have been granted, but the building of a new bridge may not be accepted by all:

“[Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel] Rabinovitch dismissed any suggestion of renewed tensions, even with the Arab world in a state of unrest.

“We don’t see any reason for conflict, because we’re talking about a bridge renovation,” Rabinovitch said on Monday.

“In Jerusalem, you never can tell,” said Peace Now’s Hagit Ofran. “There are things we think will cause riots and don’t do anything, and there are things that we don’t understand why they suddenly riot.”

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