Former Transportation Minister MK Miri Regev (Likud) warned on Monday that the Mughrabi Bridge, which connects the Kosel with Har Habayis, requires immediate replacement to avoid collapse, The Jerusalem Post reported.
“It is forbidden to wait another moment with the demolition of the bridge and the construction of an appropriate replacement,” Regev wrote in a proposal submitted in the Knesset. “The writing is on the wall, and the blood will be on the hands of all those who sat on the sidelines and remained silent.
“In light of the tragic disasters at Har Meron and Givat Ze’ev, we must not wait another moment to dismantle that bridge. We must take responsibility for human life and discuss the danger that will arise if that bridge collapses. In the next two months… Tisha Be’av, the mass Slihot and the Chagim, all stand to endanger hundreds of thousands of people,” Regev wrote.
The bridge is a wooden structure originally built as a temporary crossing after the earthen ramp, which had previously provided access to Har Habayis, collapsed in 2004.
The bridge was only intended to remain in place for a few months until a more permanent structure could be built. However, the work was stalled due to claims from the Wakf Islamic Religious Trust that Israel was trying to destabilize the site, and the bridge has remained in place.
In 2011 and again in 2021, engineering experts have said the bridge should be closed for public safety, but nothing was done.
Experts from the Western Wall Heritage Foundation found that the wood of the bridge is extremely dry and cracked, and attempts to treat it had failed, meaning that replacing it was the only option, the Post said.
Regev pointed out that the bridge not only poses a safety concern for those who walk on it, but also for the women who pray at the women’s section of the Kosel, as the bridge passes over their heads.