Netanyahu To Lift Ban On Lawmakers Visiting Temple Mount
JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli lawmakers will be allowed to visit the Temple Mount for a trial period.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will lift the ban later this month for five days, during which time the government will determine whether the visits cause violence at the site that is holy to both Jews and Muslims.
The decision comes after Likud Party lawmaker and Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick petitioned Israel’s Supreme Court to be allowed to visit the Temple Mount.
“The decision to open the Temple Mount is right and appropriate. It’s too bad that we had to petition the High Court for it to be made,” Glick said in a statement. “I call on all members of Knesset to ascend the Mount and respect the place appropriately, leaving disputes and agendas behind.”
Lawmakers, both Jewish and Muslim, have been banned from visiting the holy site since October 2015. The Prime Minister’s Office issued the ban at the time to “cool the atmosphere around the Temple Mount” following a wave of Palestinian violence against Israeli targets, including car-rammings and stabbing attacks.
Lawmakers from the Arab Joint List have broken the ban several times since it went into effect.