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Controversial Jerusalem walkway dropped

Plans to renovate a walkway near Jerusalem’s Temple Mount were dropped after Muslims rioted. Ha’aretz reported that the Jewish Quarter Development Company, which owns the land under the Western Wall Plaza, announced Tuesday that it will stop rebuilding the pedestrian walkway leading from the plaza to the Temple Mount’s Mughrabi Gate. This follows Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski’s statement on Monday that the construction plans would be reviewed. Company director-general Nissim Arazi told Ha’aretz that he would look into alternatives to the ramp, which collapsed in 2004 due to bad weather. The Antiquities Authority announced that archaeological excavations in the area would continue, however, since pits that already had been opened could prove dangerous. Recent rioting by Palestinians and other Muslims was sparked by Arab allegations that the Israeli project aimed to undermine the foundations of two major Muslim shrines on the Temple Mount.