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Jerusalem to shut down walkway leading to disputed shrine, new violence feared
JERUSALEM (AP) ' Jerusalem municipal officials say they will shut down a walkway to a shrine at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict ' a move liable to trigger new violence between Muslims and Jews.
Jerusalem's city engineer Shlomo Eshkol informed authorities of his plan in a letter released Thursday. The shutdown could happen immediately after a weeklong public comment period.
The wooden walkway leads to a compound sacred to Jews as the Temple Mount, and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary.
It was built as a temporary structure after a centuries-old ramp to the site was damaged in a snowstorm.
The municipality says the walkway is hazardous and must be replaced.
Any work in the area draws protests and sometimes violence from Palestinians who suspect Israel wants to harm Muslim holy sites.