The Temple Mount refers to a flat plaza situated above the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, and it is considered a holy site in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam alike.
According to Jewish teachings, Temple Mount, known in Hebrew as Har Habayit, is the site where Abraham took his son Isaac to be sacrificed and is the location of both ancient Jewish Temples. The location is the holiest site in Judaism, and Jews turn to face it while praying.
In Islam, the Temple Mount, or al-Haram-al-Sharif, is believed to be the site of one of three Sacred Mosques and the location of the Prophet Muhammed's journey to Jerusalem, one of the most celebrated events in the Islamic calendar. Among Sunni Muslims, it is considered to be the third holiest site in Islam. the al-Aqsa compound is located on the plaza.
Temple Mount is considered to be one of the most contested religious sites in the world, due to conflicting religious claims to it. While Jewish people and other non-Muslims are allowed to visit the site, Jewish prayer is forbidden, a fact which has caused ongoing tensions between the religious groups.
The Jerusalem Islamic Waqf oversees the day-to-day administration of the Temple Mount, which they have done since Israel handed over control after the 1967 Six-Day War, although Israeli security forces maintain a presence on location and control the entry points.
The site has been the focus of intense clashes between Israeli and Palestinian visitors in the past, and it has been closed for entry during increased periods of tension, and in May 2021, the conflict reached new heights when Israel Police clashed with Palestinian rioters on Temple Mount, even entering al-Aqsa Mosque and firing tear gas inside the building.
Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.
Turkish FM Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu is set to meet with government officials both in Israel and the Palestinian Authority during his visit this week.
It is the un-Jewish “status quo” that Jordan, with American backing and Israeli acquiescence, is seeking to force on us all.
Israel is not spooked by Iranian threats because it feels it can deal with them. It is frightened by threats of a global jihad over al-Aqsa.
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