(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
“There will not be another mosque on Temple Mount,” said Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan in an interview with Radio 103FM on Monday, “this is not only my own instruction but also that of the Prime Minister [Benjamin Netanyahu],” he added.
Temple Mount, the site on which the Jewish Temple stood before the Romans destroyed it, is where al-Aqsa mosque is situated.
The site is the third holiest in Islam after Mecca and Medina, which are in Saudi Arabia.
“Muslims are smuggling prayer rugs inside and praying illegally,” Erdan said, “just like they can pray in the street.”
He added that “sadly” Jewish people are not allowed to pray on the site of Temple Mount and that too “God willing” might be changed “in the future.”
He also slammed President Reuven Riviln for saying on Monday morning that the current "discourse regarding Arab citizens" is "unacceptable."
"The President is wrong," Erdan said, "there is no connection between the civic rights of Arabs in Israel and national rights."
"It is not clear why the President doesn't understand that," he said.
While Israel assumed control of Temple Mount during the 1967 Six Day War it was careful not to assume control of the site Muslims around the world view as sacred, preferring to allow the Islamic religious authority [Waqf] to oversee the site.
MK Yehuda Glick [Likud] is a strong supporter of Jewish right to pray on the site and for a greater emphasis on the Temple in Israeli discourse. His insistence to visit the site led to an assassination attempt in 2014 in which a Muslim terrorist tried to gun him down for being “an enemy of al-Aqsa,” Glick survived the attempt.
His would-be assassin Mutaz Hijazi was killed during a police raid on the apartment he was hiding at.
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