Mayor Uri Lupolianski (photo)
ordered plans for a new walkway leading to the Temple Mount on Monday, following a week of rioting over the construction of the ramp leading through the Mugrabi Gate. Residents would be allowed to submit protests and see the plans.
The new walkway is meant to replace an ancient earthen ramp, which partially collapsed during a snowstorm three years ago. Israel says the work, about 50 meters (60 yards) from the compound, will not damage Moslem holy sites.
City Hall’s decision calling for new plans, will not affect current construction on the ramp and archaeologists will also continue digging, ensuring ancient remains stay in tact so the walkway does not become damaged
City Hall spokesman Gidi Schmerling said the decision will “likely” delay construction because of those protesting.
Lupolianski made the decision after meeting with Moslem leaders, Schmerling said, “so that the process will be transparent, and so that it will be entirely clear that there is no attempt to harm any Moslem holy sites.”
The ramp starts in the Jewish quarter near the Western Wall and leads to the Temple Mount, which is currently part of the Moslem Quarter.