Israeli lawmaker: Waqf’s control of the Temple Mount is over

Parliament member says Israeli police force, not the Jordanian Waqf, has full control of the Temple Mount.

The Jordanian Waqf’s de facto control over the Temple Mount came “to an end last Friday,” Member of Knesset (MK) Avi Dichter, Chairman of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, stated Tuesday. Dichter was specifically referring to Israel’s implementation of new security measures at the holy site, including the installment of metal detectors.

The Waqf, Jordan’s Islamic Trust which manages religious affairs at the site, has been boycotting the Temple Mount, refusing to adhere to new security procedures introduced by the Israeli police following Friday’s the attack, in which three terrorists shot and murdered two Israeli policemen. They called on other Muslim worshipers to follow suit, but hundreds nevertheless prayed at the holy site.

Speaking to Israel Radio, Dichter called for a change to the current situation, in which Jews have no rights on the Tempe Mount.

“Regarding the Temple Mount, I can say that it’s a question of our policy at the site, which is unclear to the Palestinians, but is very clear to us,” he said, pointing to the fact that the Palestinians have changed their propaganda strategy. In the past, they have run the campaign “al-Aqsa is in danger,” but “now they have changed the campaign to ‘the Temple Mount equals al-Aqsa.’ They are trying to create a situation in which it is problematic for Jews to go up to the Temple Mount. Al-Aqsa Mosque is considered the third-holiest place in Islam, so just as non-Muslims are not allowed to enter Mecca or Medina, they want to create the same situation on the Temple Mount, But the Mount will remain under the control of the Israel Police,” Dichter said.

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He said the police were capable and well experienced in carrying out such security tasks, and rejected the notion of a foreign force securing the site.

“In no situation will an international force be inside the sovereign area of the State of Israel. The state knows how to take care of sensitive people,” Dichter said.

He charged the Waqf with trying to assert its authority and promote its agenda of control on the Temple Mount. “There will be no international force here, not UNIFIL and not any other force, apart from the State of Israel,” Dichter said.

On Monday, Arabs clashed with police just outside the Temple Mount and several of the rioters were reportedly wounded in the process.

By: World Israel News Staff