Mughrabi ramp hides Israel's ethnic cleansing - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Ben Alofs
    • 12.12.11 | 13:00 (IST)

    Your article did not explain how the Mughrabi ramp got there in the first place. Before 1967 the whole area was known as the Mughrabi quarter and one was able to access the Haram al-Sharif via the Mughrabi Gate. Days after Israel occupied the Old City most of the Mughrabi Quarter was flattened with bulldozers to create the plaza in front of the Western Wall. It took the wholesale expulsion of the inhabitants of the quarter to do this. In the early 1970s the last remaining houses of the Mughrabi quarter, those adjoining the Mughrabi Gate, were demolished after the inhabitants were expelled. The Mughrabi ramp (created to ensure access to the Haram al-Sherif) consists of the rubble of these houses, mixed with sand and concrete. The bridge was built after storm and rain made the ramp unstable. When I visited the Haram al-Sherif/Temple Mount in 2008 I walked over the bridge to the Mughrabi Gate. Below me archaeologists were digging. I could see the layers of older houses beneath the level of the Mughrabi quarter, which was itself ancient. I can understand Arab and Palestinian suspicions regarding Israel's intentions with the bridge. It all has to be placed into context, the context of ethnic cleansing and colonisation. It is not a surprise that Jewish ultranationalists are clamouring for the building of a permanent bridge, because they of course regard it as a bridgehead in the conquest of the Haram al-Sherif. It is not a coincidence that the decision to close the bridge is taken, while the most extreme Israeli government and Jerusalem municipality is in power. Technically it wouldn't have been much of a challenge to keep the existing bridge safe. Any change in the status quo made by the current Israeli government/Jerusalem municipality needs to be regarded with the utmost suspicion.

    from the article: Jerusalem closes Mughrabi Bridge leading to Temple Mount
    First published 12:03 12.12.11 | Last updated 12:03 12.12.11
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