The bridge to the Mughrabi Gate, which is used by Jews and other non-Muslim visitors for passage to the Temple Mount may soon collapse, Channel 13 reported, citing an experienced engineer, Ofer Cohen, who penned an official letter to the Western Wall Heritage Foundation.
The engineer suggests that the wood is extremely dry and has "many longitudinal cracks", calling on Israel to build a new steel bridge "without delay".
Experts have repeatedly raised concerns over the condition of the passage. The wooden bridge was originally constructed in 2003 as a "temporary" solution to replace a damaged stone ramp. Several attempts to build a new structure had failed for years amid protests from Jordan, which has a special status concerning the Muslim holy shrines in Jerusalem under the 1994 peace treaty between the two countries.
The Temple Mount was at the epicentre of a recent conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Israeli authorities had limited gatherings around the Temple Mount, restricting access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Israel explained the decision by its desire to avoid large and mostly unvaccinated crowds to gather amid the pandemic, while Palestinians viewed the move as a bid to infringe upon their right to worship.
This led to violent clashes and subsequently a military conflict between Hamas, an Islamist group that governs the Gaza Strip, and the Israel Defence Forces that lasted 11 days and ended due to Egyptian mediation.