The Temple Mount will be closed to Jewish visitors on Thursday, which marks the first day of the Hebrew month of Elul and Hijri, the Islamic New Year, according to Temple Mount News.
Jews will also be banned from visiting the Temple Mount on the eve and first day of Rosh Hashana (the Jewish New Year and Day of Judgement), the first day of the holiday of Sukkot and on the holiday of Shmini Atzeret due to their occurrence on Friday and Shabbat. Jewish visitors are banned from visiting the site on Friday and Saturday throughout the entire year.
Many Jews are expected to visit the Temple Mount complex on Wednesday to mark the eve of the first day of Elul. Elul is seen as a time to prepare for Rosh Hashana, the Day of Judgement, and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.
Temple Mount activists have asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Public Security Minister Amir Ohana to allow Jewish entry to the site on Saturdays at least. Jews were allowed to enter the site on Saturdays up until 20 years ago.
The Waqf, an arm of the Jordanian Ministry of Sacred Properties, administers the Temple Mount site.
Visits by religious Jews to the Temple Mount are monitored by Waqf guards and Israeli police – and all Jewish prayer, including silent prayer, is forbidden, according to the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
No sacred Jewish objects, such as prayer books or prayer shawls, may be brought onto the mount, according to the tourism website Tourist Israel.
The Jerusalem Post revealed in December that Jewish visitors to the site had started praying undisturbed by police forces.
The Temple Mount is open to Jewish entry Sunday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. (10:30 a.m. in the winter) and again from 1:30 p.m. until 2:30 p.m.