Israel allows fifth minaret on Temple Mount

Thursday, October 12, 2006 |  by Staff Writer
Plans to build a fifth minaret on the Temple Mount seem to go as planned as Jordanian officials say they did not encounter any Israeli opposition to the proposed plan, to be implemented as early as next year.

The Jordanians plan to build the minaret on the eastern wall of the Temple Mount near the Golden Gate and will be 42 meters high, the tallest minaret on the site. This minaret will be the first one to be built on the Temple Mount in more than 600 years, and will cost an estimated $700,000.

A Jordanian official said Wednesday that he was unaware of any Israeli opposition to the proposed construction plan. He added that he outlined the proposed plan on a recent tour of the site with Israeli police, antiquities and government officials who did not express opposition to the plan.

The construction of the minaret will commence as soon as a contractor is selected by the Jordanian authorities, due in about three months. The official said that the new minaret will be constructed in a Hashemite style, as opposed to the current Mameluke style dominating the minarets currently on the Temple Mount.

According to a long-time regulation, the Temple Mount site is policed and secured by Israel, while the Wakf, the Islamic trust, is responsible for the day-to-day maintenance and administration of the site. It is believed that Israel prefers the more moderate Jordanian intervention in the site, rather than the more extremist approach of the Palestinian Wakf, which was appointed by Yasser Arafat more than a decade ago.

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