Orthodox Jews look out Temple Mount.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Police should be prepared for an increase in Jews trying to access the Temple
Mount ahead of the High Holidays, Knesset Interior Committee chairwoman Miri
Regev (Likud Beytenu) warned on Sunday.
Police would not allow Jews
Temple Mount Heritage Foundation chairman Yehuda
Glick complained to the committee that Jews visiting the Temple Mount during the
month of the Muslim holiday Ramadan were met by Arabs calling out racial
to go up to the Mount for 21 days,
unlike in previous years when they were barred from the area only on Id al-Fitr,
Glick recounted, expressing concern about Jewish access to the holy site during
the upcoming High Holidays.
Asst.-Cmdr. Moshe Bareket, the head of the
David police precinct in Jerusalem said that the policy for Jewish entry to the
Temple Mount did not change during Ramadan.
However, Bareket explained
that the government’s policy in the past two years is to allow Palestinians to
visit the Mount during Ramadan, and the number of visitors increased to tens of
thousands during the week and hundreds of thousands on Fridays.
only blocked Jews from going up to the Mount on the Ninth of Av fast day and
during the last 10 days of Ramadan, which are “especially sensitive,” Bareket
As for the upcoming High Holidays, Bareket said the police is
making every effort to ensure unlimited Jewish access to the site.
have no less of a right to go up to the Temple Mount than Palestinians,” Regev
Regev, along with MKs Nissim Ze’ev (Shas), Orit Struck (Bayit
Yehudi) and David Tsur (Hatnua) lamented the fact that no representatives of the
Prime Minister’s Office attended the meeting to clarify its position, even
though the PMO is responsible for dealing with the issue.
MK Dov Henin
(Hadash) called to maintain the status-quo when it comes to prayer on the Temple
“Since the 15th century, Jews prayed at the Western Wall and
Muslims prayed on the Temple Mount,” he stated. “Any change to the status quo
can have catastrophic results in the talks between us and the
Meretz MK Tamar Zandberg called for freedom of worship for
all religions, and said she hopes the current negotiations with the Palestinian
Authority will allow that.
Earlier Sunday, Manhigut Yehudit, a Likud
members’ group led by MK Moshe Feiglin, submitted a report to the committee
stating that the police violates the rights of Jews on the Temple
Jews were allowed on the Mount less than five percent of the time
Muslims were, according to the report. In addition, there has been an increase
in “organized Muslim violence,” which the police do not fight.
Manhigut Yehudit report concluded that police “give a prize to encourage
violence by blocking Jews going up to the Mount, including ministers and MKs who
are supposed to have parliamentary immunity.”
Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu ordered Bareket to bar Feiglin from ascending the Mount in April.
Since then, Feiglin has rebelled against the coalition in Knesset votes.