Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin (Likud) was forced to cut short a visit to the Temple Mount the day after Tisha B’Av.
As Elkin arrived at the compound, Muslim worshippers on site started protesting his presence and even uttered threats towards him. This caused police to ask Elkin and his entourage to leave.
Prior to leaving for the complex, Elkin was asked to say a few words to the cameras. He spoke of the Jews’ yearning to return to the Temple Mount and expressed his sadness over the difficult reality on the Mount, in which a Deputy Minister cannot complete a tour of the Temple Mount that was planned in advance.
As Elkin was speaking to the cameras, police officers arrived and asked him to hurry up and leave. He was then escorted off the Temple Mount as Muslims could be heard calling out in the background.
The visit and its abrupt end can be seen below (video is in Hebrew):
The incident occurred just one day after Elkin, MK Shuli Moalem-Refaeli (Bayit Yehudi) and students from several yeshivot were not allowed by police to ascend to the Mount.
The Waqf, which was left in charge of the Temple Mount after Israel liberated the region in 1967, has removed every sign of ancient Jewish presence at the Jewish holy site.
Police, in an attempt to appease the Waqf, limit the number of Jewish worshippers allowed on the Temple Mount at one time in order to prevent conflict with Muslim worshippers. They often close the Mount to Jews in response to Muslim riots – despite evidence that Muslim riots have been planned in advance for the specific purpose of forcing Jews out.
Arabs, for their part, continuously make false accusations that Israel is "Judaizing" the Temple Mount, sometimes resorting to ridiculous propaganda such as accusing Israel of using chemicals to erode the foundations of the mosque in order to cause it to collapse.