Temple Mount reopens to Jewish visitors after 19 days

May 24, 2021 Agencies
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After 19 days during which Jews were banned from visiting the Temple Mount due to Muslim unrest in Jerusalem, a group of 20 Jewish visitors was allowed on Sunday morning into the compound.

Jews visit the Temple Mount compound, site of the Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem’s Old City, during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, Oct. 8, 2017. Photo by Yaakov Lederman/Flash90.

On Friday, hundreds of young Muslims threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at police. Jerusalem District Police Chief Maj. Gen. Doron Turgeman ordered police to enter the compound and handle the rioters.

Small-scale disturbances at the Temple Mount were reported early Sunday morning, but the visit by the group of Jewish visitors went ahead as planned.

Knesset member Itamar Ben-Gvir, leader of the far-right Otzma Yehudit Party, called the decision “an important step by the prime minister, which shows that Israel has not folded on its principles.”

However, he added, “We need to pay attention to the situation on the mount, to the unceasing discrimination, the fact that Jews may not pray publicly in a minyan [quorum of 10 men required], the limit to groups of 20 and shorter visiting hours for Jews.”

”I call on the prime minister to make the situation on the Mount equal for Jews and Muslims, and prevent racism and inequality,” he said.

Report from Efrat Forsher and Ariel Kahana for Israel Hayom via JNS

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.

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