Hundreds of activists and supporters attended the annual exercise of the Passover sacrifice that was conducted for the first time next to the Southern Wall, at the foot of the Temple Mount.
In the past years, the ceremony was conducted in various locations far from the Temple Mount itself, such as the Old City, Mount Olives and Kiryat Moshe at the entrance to Jerusalem. The fact that both Israel Police and the Jerusalem Municipality permitted them to conduct the ceremony in that located might indicate a warming of ties between officials and the Temple Mount activists, as well on the growing popularity of the movement.
The ceremony on Monday, which included the slaughtering of two lambs, and a demonstration of the work of the Kohanim, was attended by senior National Religious rabbis including Yisrael Ariel and Dov Lior. MK Yehudah Glick (Likud), a former senior Temple Mount activist, attended the event as well.
“I am happy that were are having it here at the foot of the Temple Mount,” Glick told The Jerusalem Post. “We started here over a decade and a half ago, with just a handful of people – and now we have hundreds of people coming.”
Assaf Fried, a spokesman for the Temple Mount Activists Movement, said he was thrilled with the event, adding that “when 10,000 will attend, we will do it up on the Temple Mount itself.”
Left-wing activists protested against the authorities who allowed the event to take place in such location.
“The official police approval to allow the slaughtering ceremony in the Davidson Center – an official national and religious site – and at the foot of the Temple Mount and the al-Aqsa mosque is outrageous,” said NGO Ir Amim in a statement.
“It indicates an official state sponsoring of an extremists ceremony, and supporting the official intentions of the movements that are organizing it.”
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