Haredi temple mount 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
For the first time in a decade, soldiers in uniform will be allowed to access
the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site.
Due to the sensitive nature of
the area, which also holds the Dome of the Rock and al-Aksa Mosque, soldiers had
been prohibited from entering the area in uniform.
visited the Temple Mount on Sunday with a tour guide for over an hour. The
presence of paratroopers in uniform was a gesture to their unit, which was the
first to reach the Temple Mount during the 1967 Six Day War.
activists joined MKs Ze’ev Elkin (Likud), Tzipi Hotovely (Likud), Danny Danon
(Likud) and Arye Eldad (National Union) to pressure security authorities to
allow soldiers to enter in uniform.
“The struggle for the Temple Mount
was worth it; now soldiers in uniform can walk with pride in all parts of
Jerusalem, and the State of Israel makes it clear to all that the Temple Mount
is in our hands,” Danny Danon said on Thursday.
The Mount was closed to
Jews from 2000 to 2003. Yehuda Glick, director of the Temple Mount Foundation,
said the issue of soldiers in uniform had been discussed twice in the past year
in the Knesset, and credited the MKs with pressuring Jerusalem Police to change
“The group [of soldiers] was not confronted by any negative
behavior,” Glick said. “We’re more afraid of our own shadow.”
Police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said there have been no incidents since the
policy was changed and they are not expecting any violence in reaction.