Minister of Education Gideon Saar (Likud) presided over the lighting of Chanukah candles at the Western Wall plaza of the Temple Mount Wednesday night. Lighting the sixth flame of the Chanukah menorah, Saar was joined by the rabbi of the Western Wall, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch, as well as Chief Rabbi of the town of Migdal HaEmek, Rabbi Yitzhak Grossman.
Regarding recent statements made by Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas suggesting that the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) preside over all regional holy places, Saar said: "Never in all of history was Jerusalem the capital of another nation. Guaranteed freedoms of worship for all religions in Jerusalem depends on continued Israeli sovereignty and control in Jerusalem."
Saar also noted the expansion of school trips to Jerusalem initiated by the educational system, which increased drastically during the current school year.
"Understanding Jerusalem through the eyes and legs creates a tangible connection to the capital of Israel, and to the Jewish and Zionist heritage sites within [the city]."