Jerusalem (AP) — According to experts, the fragile bridge that gives access to Jerusalem’s most sensitive sanctuaries is at risk of collapse. However, the delicate location of the flash point shrine at the zero point of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has hindered its restoration for more than a decade.
After 45 people were killed in a crowd accident at a religious festival in northern Israel, the dilute state of the Mugravi Bridge created another threat of disaster.
A few days after Stampede in May last year, a city engineer hired by the Wailing Wall Heritage Foundation visited the Mugravi Bridge. He urged him to replace it immediately because of its poor condition and only allowed it until September.
A Supreme Court proceeding seeking repairs to the structure causes the government to take immediate action on issues that have long been avoided due to widespread diplomatic susceptibility to Jordan, Palestinians, and the wider Islamic world. You may be forced to do that.
The bridge is the only access point for non-Muslims to reach the top of the disputed hills, which Jews worship as temple mountains and Muslims as noble sanctuaries.
Foot traffic has increased significantly since its construction in 2004, after the earthquake and heavy snow collapsed the earthen ramp leading to one of the complex’s gates.
Engineers have warned that it is increasingly dangerous for over a decade. However, religious susceptibility and diplomatic impasse have led to years of inaction.
Temple Mount is the most sacred place in Judaism, where two ancient temples stood. Today, the complex houses the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the iconic gold-covered rock dome, making it the third holy place in Islam after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.
Competing claims against the site sparked years of repeated bouts of violence and helped fuel the 11-day war between Israeli and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip in May.
A few days before the outbreak of the Gaza War, the Wailing Wall Heritage Foundation, a government-sponsored organization that manages the Jewish chapel at the foot of Mount, asked engineers to inspect the bridge.
In a letter received by the Associated Press, engineer Offer Cohen said the wooden beams of the bridge, which was built in a hurry, were “extremely dry” and severely cracked. He approved the use of the bridge by September and urged authorities to “act immediately to replace the bridge for safe use.”
His tests were conducted less than a week after the deadly crowd on Mount Meron, where 100,000 worshipers gathered for their annual pilgrimage, despite coronavirus restrictions and long-standing warnings. It was done.
The government committee is currently investigating the April 30 incident, the worst civilian accident in Israeli history.
The Mugravi Bridge spans the Women’s Prayer section of the Wailing Wall Square, the most sacred place where Jews can pray.
In June, a group of women praying on the wall said that the survival of the bridge “violates the provisions of the law and poses a real risk to the people,” and petitioned the Israeli Supreme Court for responses from various authorities. The court will hold a hearing on this issue this week.
The petitioner’s lawyer also called on the Commission to investigate the disaster on Mount Meron to investigate “a dangerous and dilapidated temporary bridge illegally located above the women’s section.”
The original permit issued by the city hall approved a temporary bridge for police use until the lamp was repaired. It was never the case.
A memo from the Prime Minister’s residence in 2006 stated that “a temporary wooden bridge is understood to be unable to continue to serve the community for a long time,” and plans for a permanent exchange with the Wailing Wall Heritage Foundation. Was asked to make a final decision.
However, diplomatic pressure by neighboring Jordan, which acts as the administrator of Islamic trust in controlling Al-Aqsa Mosque compounds, has made it difficult to act.
The day-to-day operations of the field are dominated by a set of understandings called the “current situation,” and perceived changes to these unstable rules can cause anger throughout the Islamic world.
Palestinians and Muslims around the world fear that any shift, even intended to protect public security, could lead to Israeli acquisitions and site splits.
“For Jordan, it has to do with the status quo of Temple Mount. If it violates the status quo, it’s Pandora’s Box,” said Ashkelon Academic College’s Israeli Research Division Chairman and Disputed Sanctuary Expert. One Israeli writer said.
Israel and Jordan reportedly reached an agreement in 2011 to replace the bridge, but the agreement was unsuccessful. At that time, Israel accused Jordan of renewing.
Over the last decade, the relationship between the two neighbors has worsened, “nothing has been done since then, as the Jordanians are still opposed,” Reiter said. Israel’s new government has moved to restore relations with Jordan, an important Arab ally, but it is unclear if they will be able to make progress on the bridge.
During that time, Jewish visits to compounds increased from about 5,800 a year in 2010 to more than 37,000 in 2019, according to police statistics quoted by the Hebrew newspaper Makor Rishon. Israeli police have rejected the request to confirm these numbers.
On Sunday alone, more than 1,500 Jews visited to celebrate the Jewish holidays in Tishabab. Along with some of the visitors who violated the Jewish prayer ban, a higher than usual number added to Muslim concerns that Israel is trying to disrupt the status quo.
The exchange of bridges became the cause of opposition lawmakers.
Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party and his religious nationalist allies have been expelled from power two years later, trying to disrupt the delicate coalition of Naftali Bennett’s heterogeneous parties.
Earlier this month, former Transport Minister Miri Regev said during the upcoming Jewish holiday that “hundreds of thousands of people are at risk” and “immediate about the danger posed by the collapse of the bridge.” Asked for “discussion.”
Officials on all sides concerned have been silent on the issue.
Engineer Cohen declined to comment and contacted the Prime Minister’s Office, which manages Israeli affairs in the sanctuary of Jerusalem. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s office declined to comment. Neither the Jordanian government nor Waqf commented.
A scholarly writer said he believed that the current promotion of bridge repairs by Israeli religious nationalists was “an attempt to completely ignore Jordan and take advantage of the political situation.”
“Israel’s interest in protecting good relations with Jordan as a strategic partner is more important and important,” he did not believe the bid would work.
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