A bridge claimed to be built illegally at the kever of Rav Shimon Bar Yochai was demolished by the local municipality without incident on Thursday.
Some 100 policemen guarded the operation, fearingbut no demonstrators showed up and the demolition was completed in an hour.
The bridge was built to enable kohanim to access the popular site without passing a burial cave located on the regular path.
It was built without the necessary permits, even though the state encouraged its construction and even committed to paying half the NIS 500,000 cost.
The 300-meter long bridge was built from the rear of the kever along the side of the hill and the Meron Stream. The traditional route for the kohanim was ruled out two and a half years ago when it was realized that the old path passed by ancient kevorim.
The Merom Galil Local Planning and Building Committee ordered the bridge destroyed as it was built without proper approval.
The state’s participation in building the bridge received widespread coverage in chareidi newspapers. The reports emphasized the cooperation between the state and chassidus of Toldos Avrohom Yitzchok, which supported the building of the bridge. A petition to the Tzefas’ Magistrate’s Court by the chassidus and 12 kohanim against the demolition order was rejected in mid-December.