Jewish and Arab ministers and lawmakers are barred from visiting the Temple Mount, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed police, sparking anger among right-wing and Arab lawmakers on Thursday.
Netanyahu’s instruction came on Wednesday night, though he didn’t inform politicians of it, and didn’t refer to Arab MKs. Several ministers from Likud and Bayit Yehudi protested that apparently only Jewish politicians would be banned from the Temple Mount.
The law granting lawmakers immunity states that “no instruction banning or limiting access to any place in the country, that is not private property, may apply to MKs, unless it is for reasons of state security or a military secret.”
Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel, who visits the Temple Mount often, said “separating Jewish and Arab MKs is unacceptable and totally incomprehensible.”
Immigration and Absorption Minister Ze’ev Elkin said “it is unthinkable that the only ones who will be free to go to the Temple Mount are the Arab MKs, who incite more than anyone else an act against the State of Israel. I am outraged by this and will fight it. If anyone is inciting around the Temple Mount, inflaming the masses and fighting with police officers, it’s [Joint List] MKs like Jamal Zahalka and Haneen Zoabi, and there’s no reason for them to be able to ascend the Temple Mount. They’re spreading the lie that Israel is changing the status quo on the Temple Mount.”