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      Egypt’s FM Concerned About Knesset Debate on Temple Mount

      Egypt’s Foreign Minister calls on Israel not to allow “extremists” to lead the political scene.
      By Elad Benari
      First Publish: 2/26/2014, 3:15 AM

      Egypt's Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy
      Egypt's Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy
      Reuters

      Egypt’s Foreign Minister on Tuesday expressed concern about the debate in the Knesset about the Temple Mount, the Egyptian Youm7 website reported.

      According to the report, Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy said that it is dangerous to allow “extremists” to lead the political scene and the results of this could lead to crises “in Palestine and the entire region.”

      He also urged the Israeli government to do what it takes to stop extremists among Knesset members who, he claimed, broke into the Al-Aqsa Mosque and quarreled with the mosque visitors.

      Fahmy called for committing to the fixed rules that have been used since 1967, adding that eastern Jerusalem is the capital of the Palestinian state and that the Al-Aqsa Mosque and all sacred places are part of eastern Jerusalem.

      Tuesday night’s historic Knesset debate on the issue of freedom of religion and Israeli sovereignty on the Temple Mount, Judaism's holiest site, was initiated by MK Moshe Feiglin, a long-time campaigner for Jewish rights on the Temple Mount, where non-Muslim prayers are currently forbidden.

      Feiglin attacked the discriminatory management of the holy site, which is under the de facto rule of the Waqf. Jews are often forbidden from entering and arrested for having religious or national symbols.

      He called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to immediately apply Israeli sovereignty over the Temple Mount, and to halt the destruction of antiquities at the site by the Waqf.

      Leading up to the debate, riots broke out on the Temple Mount Tuesday morning, as Arabs threw rocks and firecrackers at police when they opened the Rambam Gate, the only entrance through which Jews are permitted to enter. As a result police reportedly closed the site to Jews.

      Response to the Knesset debate was also heard from Jordan's parliament, where Islamists in the opposition called on the government to freeze the 1994 peace treaty with Israel.