Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Jerusalem's Old City Walls Could Collapse!

Immediate restoration is called for on large sections of the 16th century walls surrounding Jerualem's Old City. An engineering survey conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority came to this conclusion. The cost of the work would be about $12 million dollars. It would seem that grants for such a project would not be difficult to obtain.

The problem is that the deteriorating wall, built by Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificient between 1536 and 1541, is located along the Moslem and Jewish Quarters. This especially problematic area borders the southern supporting wall of the Temple Mount, the holiest place in Judaism. This worries Israeli officals because the Mount is also home to the Mosque of Al Aksa, the third holiest place in Islam.

It's tragic that it is unlikely that the two groups can agree on this reconstruction that would save both of their holy places. Will a portion of the wall collapsing force them to agree?

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