Tuesday, February 13, 2007



Nissim Arazi, director of the Jewish Quarter Development Company, has stated that his company decided to abandon plans to build a new walkway from the Western Wall Plaza to the Temple Mount. Alternative solutions will be sought to repair or replace the bridge which collapsed during a snowstorm in 2004. Certain Muslim leaders claimed Israel was using the project as an excuse to damage the structural integrity of the Al-Aksa Mosque on the Temple Mount.

Salvage digs initiated by Israel’s Antiquities Authority at the site have discovered ruins from the Muslim Umayyad (7th-8th centuries CE), Christian Byzantine (3rd-7th centuries CE), and Jewish Herodian (1st Century BCE – 1st Century CE).


Officials from Israel’s Ministry of Housing announced that plans to built a bridge connecting the Western Wall Plaza with the Temple Mount will continue, reversing an earlier decision by the Jewish Quarter Development Company to withdraw its building permit request. The company, headed by Nissim Arzi, is a division of the Housing Ministry and is subject to its directives.

The controversial bridge, which is being protested by Arabs who are afraid that it compromises the structural integrity of the Al-Aksa Mosque on the Temple Mount, will replace a weather-damaged bridge which collapsed in a 2004 storm. The new bridge, which will be constructed in accordance with governmental and municipal regulations, will resolve the lack of passage from the Jewish Quarter to the Temple Mount. A salvage dig, being conducted by the Antiquities Authority, was never jeopardized by the decision to withdraw the permit application.

This government is engaged in a civil war with itself.

First, Olmert vs. Peretz.

And now the above.

And this development:-

...archeologists have already uncovered finds from the medieval period and early Islamic era that shed new light on Jerusalem's history.

"We have dug three meters down and discovered massive walls which we believe are from the early Islamic Umayyad period," Jerusalem's chief archeologist Yuval Baruch said. "Because of its proximity to the Wohl Archeological Park, I personally hope to find the rest of the Umayyad palaces."

...Among the findings at the site currently being excavated for the rebuilding of the bridge to the Mughrabi Gate, the archeologists have found pipes belonging to a medieval water system, but for Baruch, "the most interesting find is that we have found the evidence which suggests that right under the Umayyad ruins are Byzantine ruins [135-638], and under these, we believe there are Herodian roads and other ruins from the Second Temple period."

"The main excavations of the Umayyad and Byzantine ruins at the Mugrabi area will begin in a couple of days, and if we are patient enough, in five or six months time we could find Second Temple period ruins" to add to what has already been discoved in the adjacent archelogical park, Baruch added.

...we are unsatisfied with the amount of archeological results in Jerusalem. We need to continue with our work so we can find out more of the history of these buildings which gives us more information."

...Now, due to the findings, Baruch acknowledged that some re\planning might be necessary. "Before we know what exactly is in the area, no matter what we find and no matter which historical period it comes from, we will need to find a new spot for the pillars of the bridge," Baruch said.

According to city hall officials, the Jerusalem Municipality will submit new plans for the Mughrabi Gate bridge leading to the Temple Mount, but work is scheduled to continue at the site.

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