The Israeli occupation authorities are resuming their demolition of the historic Al-Magharibah Bridge to Al-Aqsa Mosque. Details of the Israeli project were disclosed during a press conference arranged by Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage. The work, it is alleged, will also undermine the foundations of Islam’s third holiest mosque.
The Foundation used still and video images to support its claims. Dozens of workers can be seen clearly using pick-axes and shovels to destroy the bridge. Others are seen taking away the debris. Israel has made it clear that a synagogue is to be built in place of the bridge. Al-Aqsa Foundation has maps of the area showing this to be the case.
According to the Israeli plan, Al-Magharibah Bridge and Gate will be replaced by a more modern bridge capable of allowing heavy military vehicles to have access to the Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa. This will, claims the Foundation, enable the Israelis to move large numbers of security forces into the compound with relative ease. “That is one of the purposes of the current work,” said a representative of the Foundation.
Speaking at the press conference, the Head of the High Islamic Committee and the Friday Imam of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Sheikh Ikremah Sabri, said that the alarm is being raised about the dangers facing the sacred site. Fatah leader Hatem Abdul-Kader accused the Palestinian Authority leadership of not doing enough to counter the threats to Al-Aqsa.
Sheikh Raed Salah, meanwhile, reiterated the importance of publicising Israel’s “aggressive plans” against Islamic holy places. The leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel called for all Muslims to do their best to protect Al-Aqsa Mosque and all its premises which are being attacked daily.
Part of the Israeli proposal is to add another tunnel to the network already creating problems for the foundations of Al-Aqsa Mosque. Al-Aqsa Foundation revealed last month that the Israeli excavations beneath Al-Aqsa have now reached the foundations of the building from the western side of the southern wall and penetrated as far as the ground floor of the Islamic Museum.