Tisha Be'av at the Western Wall.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Police closed the Temple Mount to Jewish visitors on Sunday morning, the fast of
Tisha Be’av, due to fears of “provocation” – despite a promise on Saturday night
that the holiest site in Judaism would be open to Jewish
Nearly 100 right-wing activists arrived at the entrance to
the Temple Mount only to be informed that the site was closed to
The activists held a reading of Lamentations (Eicha), the
traditional text of Tisha Be’av that commemorates the destruction of the
Temples, outside the entrance to the Mount.
“There were indications from
Muslims and from Jewish worshipers that there would be a possibility of
incidents taking place on the Temple Mount, so after a security assessment made
in the early hours of this morning, the decision was made by Jerusalem district
police in order to prevent any incidents,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld
“The time has come for the racist policies of the police to end,”
MK Michael Ben-Ari (National Union) said, accusing Public Security Minister
Yitzhak Aharonovitch (Yisrael Beytenu) of “implementing apartheid policies” by
barring Jews from the site.
“The fact that this happened on Tisha Be’av
shows how much the Temple Mount is not in our hands,” said Likud activist Moshe
Feiglin, who compared the decision to a “modern destruction” of the
Feiglin said Jerusalem police head Asst.-Ch. Nisso Shaham had
promised the Temple Mount would be open to Jews on Sunday. On Thursday, Shaham
was forced to take a leave of absence following an investigation into
allegations of sexual harassment and assault of policewomen.