Israeli lawmakers visit Temple Mount for first time since 2015

Members of Knesset visited the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holy site, for the first time in two years. 

Members of Knesset (MK) Yehuda Glick and Shuli Mualem-Refaeli ascended the Temple Mount on Tuesday, the first such visit by Israeli lawmakers since 2015.

Glick led a group in a tour of the holy site.

The MKs were admitted to the site under special terms dictated by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who fears that such high-profile visits could spark another outburst of Palestinian violence and has therefore prevented such visits until now.

The last time Glick visited the Temple Mount was in May 2016, the day he was sworn in as an MK.

“I hope that making the Temple Mount accessible to Members of Knesset will not be a singular event, but rather a renewed beginning worthy of the holiest place in the world,’ Glick told Israel’s Ynet. “The Temple Mount is the source of my life.”

Arab MK Ahmed Tibi denounced Glick and Mualem-Refaeli as “right-wing extremists” who “broke into al-Aqsa Mosque with the help of the Israeli government and its police.”

“They want to allow them to pray in the mosque’s courtyard,” Tibi fumed.

Glick repudiated the allegation that his actions would generate more violence, sarcastically saying that he has a “peculiar point of view, in which the person responsible for acts of terrorism is he who commits them, and those who incite them. I am convinced that those who ascend the Tempe Mount peacefully add peace to the world, and those who promote incitement and hatred are responsible” for violent events.

The visit comes after Israel experienced a wave of Palestinian terrorism surrounding the Temple Mount.

On July 14, Muhammad Ahmed Muhammad Jabarin, 29, Muhammad Hamad Abdel Latif Jabarin, 19, and Muhammad Ahmed Mafdal Jabarin, 19, cousins and residents of Umm al-Fahm, carried out a terror attack at the entrance to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The attack resulted with the death two Israeli Druze police officers, Master Sgt. Kamil Shnaan and Master Sgt. Haiel Sitawe.

Israel introduced metal detectors at the entrance to the Temple Mount, which led to riots that ended only after Israel removed them.

Glick, a vocal advocate of Jewish rights on the Temple Mount, narrowly survived an assassination attempt by a Palestinian terrorist in October 2014. Glick was shot and gravely wounded, while the terrorist was shot dead by Israeli forces a day later.

By: World Israel News Staff
TPS contributed to this report.