'PM delays demolition of Mughrabi Bridge'

Jordan, Egypt warned Israel taking down bridge that connects Western Wall, Temple Mount may spark regional protests.

Mughrabi Gate bridge 311 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Mughrabi Gate bridge 311
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Friday delayed plans at the last minute to start rebuilding the Mughrabi Bridge linking the Western Wall Plaza to the Temple Mount because of Egyptian and Jordanian concerns, Channel 2 reported Sunday.
According to the report, work on the bridge – which received approval in March – was to have begun early Sunday morning. The initial work of demolishing the existing structure would have necessitated the deployment of large IDF and security forces in Jerusalem and around the Temple Mount, as well as stepped-up army preparedness in the West Bank.
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Channel 2 reported Cairo and Amman warned Jerusalem the work would likely lead to “disruptions” in both Jordan and Egypt.
Officials in both the Prime Minister’s Office and the Jerusalem Municipality refused Sunday night to comment on the reports.
Previous work on the bridge caused widespread rioting in neighborhoods throughout the Jerusalem area and in Jordan.
Jordan’s Awkaf Islamic Affairs and Holy Places Ministry warned that were Israel to begin to take down the Mughrabi Bridge, the move would likely ignite protests throughout Jordan, which could eventually spread to the West Bank, according to the Channel 2 report.
Under the plans, a permanent bridge is to be built to replace the current temporary wooden structure that has been in use since a 2003 earthquake and winter storm caused part of the original bridge to collapse. The bridge is used as the main entry point for non-Muslim tourists and security forces entering the Temple Mount.
Jeremy Sharon contributed to this report.