JERUSALEM, February 12, 2013 (WAFA) – Work began Tuesday on a section of the controversial Magharba Gate wooden bridge that leads to al-Haram al-Sharif, one of Islam’s most sacred sites, in Jerusalem’s Old City, according to witnesses.
The work is believed to be a prelude to the construction of a more permanent steel bridge that is supposed to eventually replace the wooden bridge.
Palestinians and Arabs in general strongly object to Israel changing the Islamic and historical character of the Old City, particularly the Magharba Gate hill, which will be removed to make way for the steel bridge.
Arab and international outcry over the proposed changes forced Israel to temporarily freeze work on Magharba Gate bridge.
Palestinians say Israel wants to build a wide metal bridge in order to bring police and armory into the yards of al-Aqsa Mosque in case of eruption of violence. They fear that Israelis want to demolish the Islamic site to build a Jewish temple on its ruins.
The Magharba Gate, located above the plaza of the Western Wall, is the only gate Israelis and tourists are allowed to use in order to reach the yards of al-Haram al-Sharif, where al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock are located.