Jerusalem mayor halts ramp renovation, but disputed dig goes on

Excavations at holy site
The mayor of Jerusalem has suspended renovations near a compound housing the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque, while the municipality works on submitting new plans for a walkway leading to the holy site.

Mayor Uri Lupolianski announced the suspension of work to the damaged ramp, which has sparked anger among Muslims over what they call a “criminal attack.” Lupolianski has called for a longer and more transparent planning process that will allow residents to see plans for the walkway and submit protests.

However, the decision will have no effect on archaeological work under way at the site, a spokesperson for the mayor said. In Israel it is mandatory for an archaeological dig to be carried out on any building or construction site at a location that could contain historic artifacts.

 

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