Knesset Bill Would Allow Jewish Prayer on Temple Mount

Israel Restricts Holy Site Access To Keep Lid on Muslim Anger

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By JTA

Published May 19, 2014.

Two MKs from Likud and Labor have collaborated to propose a law that would allow Jews to pray on the Temple Mount.

Written by Likud MK Miri Regev and Labor MK Hilik Bar, the law would reverse the current ban on Jewish prayer on the mount, considered Judaism’s holiest site. The current ban was instituted shortly after Israel captured the Temple Mount in the 1967 Six-Day War. The Islamic Waqf, a joint Jordanian-Palestinian religious body, controls policy on at the site.

Tens of thousands of Jews visit the mount annually, according to Ynet News. Frequent Jewish visits to the Temple Mount were met with Palestinian protest several times in recent months.

The bill would create a model at the site similar to the arrangement at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, where Jews and Muslims pray in separate areas. It would also punish disturbance of the peace with a $14,000 fine.

Regev noted the site’s holiness to Jews, and called for restriction of Palestinian access to the mount in response to Palestinian unrest.

“There is no reason that Jews should not be allowed to pray in the holiest site in the world,” she said on Saturday, according to Ynet. ”I firmly believe that each event of Muslim unrest on the Mount should lead to its closure to Arabs.”

Regev and Bar have yet to submit the bill to the Knesset floor.



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