Defense Minister Amir Peretz demanded an immediate cessation of construction work in the Temple Mount area. Peretz made the demand in a letter sent to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and reprinted by Ha'aretz newspaper. In the letter, Peretz expressed his fears of escalation and worsening of security conditions as a result of the construction work. Peretz's letter was accompanied by a detailed opinion written by Maj. -Gen. (res.) Amos Gilad, head of the political-military department at the Defense Ministry. Gilad offered a series of security reasons to stop construction at the site.