Temporary bridge to Temple Mount closed in safety measure

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel shut down a footbridge to Jerusalem’s Temple Mount over public safety concerns.

The temporary Mughrabi Bridge, erected in 2004 to replace a damaged stone walkway, was closed Monday after engineers said it could collapse or catch fire.

Long resented by Muslims, the bridge links the Western Wall to the Temple Mount and had allowed tourists to visit the latter’s Al Aksa and Dome of the Rock mosques.

The structure was to have been demolished last month to make way for a new, permanent walkway, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu postponed the project in a move widely seen as designed to avoid stirring anti-Israel passions in Arab states rocked by political turmoil.

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