Israel to dismantle Temple Mount ramp

Jerusalem - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered the dismantling of a ramp giving non-Muslims access to the Temple Mount, an issue that raised Jordan's ire, a government source said on Wednesday.

"This construction had never received any authorisation and was illegal, so we decided to destroy it," the source told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The government of neighbouring Jordan, the guardian of Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem, has repeatedly called on Israel to remove the structure.

The news came on the same day that Jordan, which has 1994 peace deal with the Jewish state, agreed a 15-year deal reportedly worth $15bn to purchase natural gas from Israel's Leviathan offshore gas field.

The wooden ramp leads to the plaza housing the golden Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosque, the third-holiest site in Islam.

Constructed in 2004 on a temporary basis after the collapse of an earthen ramp, it allows non-Muslim visitors as well as Israeli forces access to the esplanade.

In February 2007, a renovation project of the ramp was halted amid protests from the Muslim world, for fear of damage to Islamic monuments.

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Jason Jaded 2014-09-04 12:21:39 AM
Such a wonderful example of slight of hand by the Israeli regime... ""We are desperate for a buyer for our natural gas, so let's make a "symbolic" concession to our potential client, Jordan, and dismantle this awfully conveniently "illegal" construction that we just so happened to have put in place for such an occasion and have done nothing about. Until now that is, when it suits us financially and economically."" And just when you think that the fascist regime could stoop no lower... Now would also be a good time to remind readers of the fact that Israel's highly convenient (6-11km) maritime blockade of Gaza keeps, by military force, the Palestinian government and Palestine enterprise as a whole from any and all access to their own estimated 1.4+ trillion cubic feet of offshore natural gas reserves in what would otherwise be Palestinian waters. An action that ensures Gaza and the West Bank's complete and utter dependance on none other than... you guessed it... Israel for ALL of their energy needs. Thus, in one fell swoop, denying any kind of potential economic benefit to the Palestinians regarding this natural gas reserve, while maintaining a captive (no pun intended) energy market for Israel in both the West Bank and Gaza. Well played, Israel. Well played indeed! *Begins a slow clap*