The Mughrabi Bridge, the closure of which for safety renovations raised a maelstrom across the Arab world, has been reopened on Wednesday.
Jerusalem security forces stationed a fire truck near the bridge, to counterbalance the hazardousness which led to its closure. The bridge will also reportedly be doused with a fire-retardant material. A Jerusalem municipal engineer declared the bridge to the Temple Mount gate to be at risk of collapse and a fire hazard.
The Jerusalem Municipality published a statement on Tuesday criticizing Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government for deciding to renovate the site, which mayor Nir Barkat feels should be demolished and rebuilt.
“The government’s helplessness in dealing with this hazardous and dilapidated nuisance at the heart of the Western Wall and entrance to the Temple Mount is regrettable,” the statement read. Barkat said he views the Netanyahu decision as a hindrance to restoring proper use of the entrance to the Temple Mount, the only one currently available to non-Muslims. There are currently 10 operational gates to the Temple Mount.
National Union MKs Uri Ariel and Aryeh Eldad used the bridge to ascend to the Temple Mount on Wednesday morning. Ariel told reporters that he believes the State of Israel should be more assertive of its sovereignty over the Temple Mount.
About the Author: Malkah Fleisher is a graduate of Cardozo Law School in New York City. She is an editor/staff writer at JewishPress.com and co-hosts a weekly Israeli FM radio show. Malkah lives with her husband and two children on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.
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