Let Jews visit Temple Mount this Chanucah, says MK

By Daniel Easterman, November 26, 2013
The Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount (Photo: David Baum)

The Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount (Photo: David Baum)

A member of the Knesset has told police chiefs they must allow Jews to visit and pray at the Temple Mount this Chanucah.

Miri Regev, who belongs to the right-wing of the Likud- Beiteinu ruling coalition, spoke to police chiefs at a special Knesset Committee hearing, telling them that they "must allow Jews to go up to the site on Chanucah".

"Just because some Muslims throw stones when Jews go up to the Temple Mount is not a reason to prevent them from going, as happened over Succot.

"Special arrangements are made for Muslim prayer there during Ramadan and similar arrangements must be made for Jewish visits on Jewish holidays," she said.

At present, access for Jews or non-Muslim tourists to the Temple Mount compound, referred to in Arabic as the 'Haram al-Sharif' or Noble Sanctuary, is severely limited.

Ms Regev is a divisive figure in Israel and caused a media storm in 2012 when she referred to African refugees as a "cancer".

Another prominent right-wing member of Knesset, Moishe Feiglin, who previously challenged Prime Minister Netanyahu for the leadership of the Likud party, was also at the police hearing. He said that the root of the problem was not the attitude or actions of the police but rather government policy.

Mr Feiglin has been personally banned from visiting the Temple Mount by Mr Netanyahu.

Masud Gnaim of the Israeli-Arab UAL-Ta'al party said Israel and Jewish visitors had no right to go up to the Temple Mount as the area is "occupied territory"'

"The place is holy to hundreds of millions of Muslims and not Jews," he said.

Last updated: 10:11am, November 26 2013