Ben Gvir to postpone Temple Mount visit after discussion with Netanyahu

The national security minister will formally visit the holy site in the “coming weeks,” his office said. 

By World Israel News Staff

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir will postpone a planned visit to the Temple Mount this week after conversing with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the matter, Hebrew media reported.

A statement issued by Ben Gvir’s office only said he would make a formal visit to the Temple Mount “in the upcoming weeks,” and not in the coming days.

According to the Walla news site, which cited sources close to Ben-Gvir, the prime minister did not demand the new minister give up on the idea altogether.

On Sunday, Ben Gvir informed police that he intended to ascend the Mount in his ministerial capacity, Judaism’s holiest site and Islam’s third holiest, prompting the Hamas terror group to warn Israel with “explosive violence” if he went through with it.

The planned visit proved that “the fascist settler government has begun its plan to attack our people and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and declared war on it,” Hamas spokesperson Abd Al Latif Al warned.

During their meeting on Monday, Ben Gvir told Netanyahu, “We mustn’t cave to Hamas.”

In the wake of Ben Gvir’s announcement, Opposition Leader Yair Lapid warned that ascending the Mount would “cost lives.”

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“It is a deliberate provocation that will put lives in danger and cost lives,” he added.

Jordan’s King Abdullah II last week threatened violence if the new Israeli government attempted to cross “red lines” – including visits to the Mount.

“If people want to get into a conflict with us, we’re quite prepared,” Abdullah said in an interview with CNN. “I always like to believe that let’s look at the glass half full, but we have certain red lines… And if people want to push those red lines, then we will deal with that,” he added.

Jordan’s Islamic Waqf has administered the Temple Mount since its liberation from Jordanian occupation in the 1967 Six Day War.

Israel has committed to preserving the status quo at the holy site, which stipulates that Muslims are allowed to pray while Jews are barred from doing so.