Police slammed for shutting down Temple Mount for Jews

May 5, 2021 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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Israel’s police have banned all access for Jewish worshippers to the Temple Mount at least until the end of the Muslim month of Ramadan, apparently fearing Muslim violence at the holy site.

Police officers on guard at Temple Mount during Jerusalem day. May 13, 2018. Photo by Mati Amar/TPS

Jews will have access to the holy site on Monday on Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day, when Israel celebrates its victory in the 1967 Six-Day War and Jerusalem’s reunification.

Tom Nissani, CEO of the Temple Mount Heritage Foundation, condemned the police’s move and stated that “closing the Temple Mount in the last days of Ramadan to Jews is an insane decision that reflects hysteria and submission to violence.”

“What message is conveyed to the other side when closing the holiest place for the Jewish people to Jews, just because of an abstract fear and conduct of past years?” he demanded.

He called on “the people of Israel” to join them in visiting the Temple Mount on Jerusalem Day and “prove that the Temple Mount is in our hands.”

The “Returning to the Mountain” movement stated that it is “shameful that the Israeli police are surrendering again for the umpteenth time to the Arab rioters and are proving that even 54 years after the conquest of the mountain – the Temple Mount is not really in our hands.”

The movement demanded that the police “continue on the path of the paratroopers” who liberated the Old City of Jerusalem and “open the Temple Mount to Jews around the clock and allow full freedom of Jewish worship in the area.”

Jewish worshippers are currently enabled only limited access in time and space during their visits to the Temple Mount.

The movement also called “on anyone who can visit the mountain to do so despite the closure of the mountain by the police and to continue on the path of the paratroopers.”

The Temple Mount Visits Administration “expressed sorrow” following the closure notice.

“This is a message that saddens every Jewish heart. And especially brides and grooms, and bar mitzvah boys who were to ascend the Temple Mount in the coming days on their great and only such day of their lives,” the Administration stated.

“This closure once again shows that neglecting the Temple Mount in the civil aspect, drags its abandonment to Islam and endangers the remains of the Temple on the spot,” the group warned.

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal has threatened that the 28th day of the Muslim month of Ramadan, on May 9, will be the turning point in the “great battle against the Judaization and control of Jerusalem, and the attempt to divide the use of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

The 28th day of Ramadan coincides with Jerusalem Day.

The 28th day of Ramadan marks the “Lil al-Qadr”, the most sensitive night in Ramadan with deep religious significance, in which the angel Gabriel brought down the Quran and opened the gates of heaven for prayers, according to the Islamic faith.

“We have no future, or state, or self-determination without Jerusalem,” said Mashaal in an interview to Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV last Sunday.

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