Thursday, July 26, 2007

"New plan for Temple Mount bridge aims to silence critics"

A view of the Western Wall with the temporary wooden Mughrabi walkway to the Temple Mount. (Eli Tesma / Bau Bau)

Read the full article in Haaretz (Israel).

"Jerusalem's Planning and Construction Committee will begin discussing an alternative to the controversial Mughrabi Bridge project Wednesday.

"The original plan for the bridge, which leads from the Old City's Dung Gate and the Western Wall to the Temple Mount's Mughrabi Gate, raised hackles in the Arab world when it was presented in February, due to allegations that it would damage the Temple Mount.

"Some archaeologists and architects also expressed concern that the bridge would damage antiquities or block the view of the Temple Mount......

"The United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) is expected to attempt to mediate between Israelis and Palestinians so that an agreement can be reached to allow the bridge's construction.

"A UNESCO committee visited Israel a few months ago to hear the various arguments against the project."

Comment: A special session at the last Executive Board, with strong leadership from U.S. Ambassador to UNESCO Louise Oliver, developed a joint agreement on the problem, and has been described as greatly reducing tensions over the problem of the Temple Mount construction. JAD

No comments: