Netanyahu allows lawmakers to visit Temple Mount again: report
AHMAD GHARABLI (AFP)
Prime Minister Netanyahu informed Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and Israeli parliament (Knesset) speaker Yuli Edelstein on Tuesday, that every member of parliament, including ministers, will be able to visit the Temple Mount for the first time in six months, Channel 2 reported on Tuesday.
Access for Israeli lawmakers to the hilltop site, which known to Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif compound and to Jews as the Temple Mount, has been prohibited for two years, but Netanyahu announced his decision following a request by Likud lawmaker Yehuda Glick.
In August last year, Likud lawmaker Yehuda Glick visited the Temple Mount during a one-day break in a government ban, and his recent request to access again during the three weeks where Jews mourn the destruction of the two holy temples.
The Temple Mount is considered Judaism's holiest site, once the site of the first and second Temples, and is the third holiest to the Muslim faith.
Joint List MK Haneen Zoabi slammed the decision on Tuesday, saying “Netanyahu wants violence to escape his criminal probes and the threats to his coalition. This is a stupid, unethical decision but not a surprising one.”
Culture Minister Miri Regev and Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel both praised the decision and the importance of letting Jews access the Temple Mount.
Israel has repeatedly stated its commitment to the status quo at the Temple Mount, in which Jews are allowed to visit but not to pray.
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How long will it be for Israel to regain its religious freedom and god given right to worship the Creator of All on hallowed ground, where Hebrews began their quest for Zion? A peace pact will reestablish that right. This News story is proof.