The Temple Mount became Jewish again, at least for one day, on Tuesday. Temple organizations reported that about 400 Jews had ascended to the Mount in the morning hours, and that police allowed them in without undue delays.
Most of the gates to the Mount were closed, and Muslim worshippers, who often harass Jews on the Mount, are not being allowed in. This is happening because police and the Israel Security Agency (ISA, or Shin Bet) have received intelligence about “malicious intentions” and Islamist incitement calling on Arabs to riot and prevent the Jews from entering.
Only a few elderly Musims could be seen on the Mount, reported Temple activists.
The Temple Mount will be open to Jews on Shavuot in the morning hours of Wednesday, from 7:30 to 11:00 a.m., and again from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.
Shavuot is one of the three annual pilgrimage festivals on which the Israelites were commanded to come to Jerusalem to celebrate, in Temple times. The others two pilgrimage holidays are Pesach and Sukkot.
Pesach on the Temple Mount was a mirror image of Tuesday's calm. Likud MK and Knesset Deputy Speaker Moshe Feiglin recently called on Prime Minister Netanyahu to investigate riots by Muslim extremists on the Temple Mount, and to take action to put an end to intimidation and violence against Jews on Judaism's holiest site - action which he says should include firing Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, Feiglin branded the string of riots over the Pesach (Passover) holiday as a "Hamas takeover on the Temple Mount."
He described how "Hamas flags were flown on the Mount", as Islamists succeeded repeatedly in blocking Jews and tourist groups from visiting the holy site, and said the "sheer helplessness of the Israeli Police" marked a security failure so severe that it was impossible to overlook.
"We are talking about a loss of sovereignty in the heart of hearts of the capital of Israel, in the holiest place for the Jewish people, and the handing over [of sovereignty] to a terrorist movement which inscribes [calls for] the destruction of the State of Israel on its flag."
MK Feiglin went further, claiming that the Muslim riots were pre-planned and that the police were fully aware of them in advance - but were prevented from acting by directives forbidding them from operating within the Al Aqsa Mosque complex itself, for fear of offending Muslim sensibilities. Indeed, Islamist youths barricaded themselves inside the Al Aqsa Mosque for several hours on more than one occasion, hurling rocks and launching fireworks at riot police with impunity.