Bennett reflects on religious freedom for Jews on Temple Mount – .

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Bennett reflects on religious freedom for Jews on Temple Mount – .


The status quo on the Temple Mount has not changed, the prime minister’s office said on Monday, denying a message asserting freedom of worship for Jews at the holy site a day after sending it.

“There is no change in the status quo,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett spokesman Matan Sidi said. “There is continuity since the last government in the [current] government policy on the Temple Mount.

The “status quo” on the Temple Mount refers to allowing non-Muslims to visit, but not pray, while Muslims can pray in the al-Aqsa Mosque and the outdoor spaces surrounding it.

However, small groups of Jews have been praying quietly on the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site, regularly since 2019, with Israeli police ignoring the practice.

This continued on Sunday, the Jewish fasting day of Tisha Be’av, marking the destruction of the first and second temples at this site in 586 BCE and 70 AD. Almost 1,700 Jews visited the Temple Mount on Sunday morning and early afternoon without incident, and a small morning prayer service was held, but without a Torah scroll.

A statement from the prime minister’s office after the Jewish visits ended on Sunday appeared to recognize or even approve of Jews praying at the Temple Mount.

“The Prime Minister thanked the Minister [for Public Security Omer Bar Lev] and police commissioner [Yaakov (Kobi) Shabtai] for handling events on the Temple Mount responsibly and with discernment, while protecting the freedom of worship of Jews on the mount, ”the statement said. “The Prime Minister stressed that freedom of worship on the Temple Mount will also be fully protected for Muslims who celebrate Arafa and Eid al-Adha day in the coming days.

Earlier Sunday morning, Muslims revolted on the Temple Mount, throwing stones, and were evacuated by Israeli police.

Jordan had sent an official letter of protest against Jews visiting the Temple Mount, Jordanian Foreign Ministry spokesman Daifallah al-Fayez deploring the “storming of the sacred complex by extremist settlers under protection of the Israeli police ”and claiming that the complex“ is a place of worship purely for Muslims.

Jordan occupied half of Jerusalem from 1948 to 1967 and did not allow Jews in its Old City to pray at holy sites, including the Western Wall and the Temple Mount.

Arab media reports often call for any visit by Jews to the Temple Mount – regardless of where they live or the order in which they behave or whether none are allowed to enter the mosque. on the site – “settlers storming the Aqsa mosque”. The Jordanian statement, as well as those of the Palestinian Authority and Israeli government coalition partner Ra’am, used the same language.

Jordan’s King Abdullah II was due to meet with US President Joe Biden at the White House on Monday, making him the first Arab leader to do so. Abdullah is expected to mention, among other things, his custody of the holy places in Jerusalem.

Jordan’s complaint follows a rapprochement with Israel this month, including meetings between Abdullah and Bennett, and between Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and his Jordanian counterpart Ayman Safadi. Israel has agreed to sell Jordan twice the amount of water stipulated in the peace treaty between the countries and to allow Amman to increase its exports to the Palestinian Authority.

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