City council meets ahead of releasing new Mugrabi plan

Thursday, March 08, 2007 |  by Staff Writer
The Jerusalem City Council, responsible for planning and construction, met this week ahead of the release of a new plan detailing the construction of the bridge leading to the Mugrabi Gate on the Temple Mount.

Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski said a new plan would be drawn up, giving residents a chance to submit objections. This comes after violent protests and riots have been staged by irate Muslims over the current construction.

The proposed bridge is intended to replace a wooden bridge, which engineers have said is in danger of collapse and part of which caved in during the winter of 2004.

“The bridge itself is essential, but it could be that we will ask to change its route,” said Yehoshua Pollack, the head of Jerusalem’s municipal planning and construction council. “We plan to invite all the relevant experts, from the security fields, the police, preservation and archeology, as well as members of the Waqf [Moslem religious trust], to hear their positions. We decided to renew the basic discussion about the entire subject.”

The original plan did not call for public approval of the project, only that of a legal opinion allowing the bridge to be built with a permit.

Meanwhile, one of the bridge’s chief opponents, the head of the northern branch of Israel’s Islamic Movement, Sheikh Ra’ad Salah, was arrested in East Jerusalem on Wednesday after waving a Syrian and Palestinian flags and delivering speeches against Israel.

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