‘No Arabs from Judea, Samaria on Temple Mount during Ramadan,’ says Israeli minister

Itamar Ben-Gvir vows to prevent Hamas supporters from reaching Temple Mount during Ramadan while Israeli “women and children are hostages in Gaza.”

By World Israel News Staff

National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir (Otzma Yehudit) said he is working to ban Arab residents of Judea and Samaria from visiting the Temple Mount during the upcoming Ramadan holiday.

“We should not allow residents from the [Palestinian] Authority to enter Israel in any way” during the Islamic festival, which begins March 10th, Ben-Gvir wrote on social media platform X. “We cannot take chances and risks.”

Referring to the frequent displays of Hamas flags and banners on the Mount, Ben-Gvir said that he would not allow “Hamas victory celebrations” at the site while Israeli “women and children are hostages in Gaza.”

In past years, Israel has allowed Arabs from PA-controlled territories in Judea and Samaria to visit the site during Ramadan, but Ben-Gvir is opposed to the policy considering the ongoing conflict in the Strip and potential security risks.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to hold a meeting with Ben-Gvir on Sunday to discuss the issue of Palestinian visitors to the site.

According to a Channel 12 News report, preventing PA Arabs from visiting the Mount during Ramadan could raise tensions even further.

“For weeks now, the issue… has been raised and there are no decisions. It becomes dangerous. We are entering the Ramadan period badly, it’s dramatic,” an unnamed minister told the Hebrew-language news channel.

“The result of this is grave. The potential for provocations related to the Temple Mount is immense and worrisome.”

Ben-Gvir, who sparked international ire by visiting the Temple Mount three times since joining the government in November 2022, has long been an advocate for Jewish prayer rites at the site.

The Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism, but Jews are forbidden from publicly praying there, due to Islamic claims of full ownership over the compound.

The mere presence of Jews on the Temple Mount has sparked violent attacks by Muslims, and Jewish pilgrims are often harassed while visiting.