Ya'alon: MKs Who Visit Mount Fuel Incitement

Defense Minister calls MKs to maintain the "sensitive status quo" and refrain from visiting the Temple Mount.

Ben Ariel, Canada,

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon
Ministry of Defense/Flash 90  

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said on Friday that MKs and Cabinet ministers who visit the Temple Mount at this time are “fueling” Arab incitement.

In an interview with Channel 10 which will air in full on Saturday night and of which excerpts were published on Friday, Ya’alon said, "You cannot ignore the fact that some of the recent incidents are exploitation of what, unfortunately, ministers and Knesset members did when they went to the Temple Mount. We have a right to the Temple Mount, certainly. Jews ascend the Temple Mount and will continue to do so. But there is a very sensitive status quo between us and Jordan and we need to maintain it. The fact that the other side takes advantage of it and turns it into a provocation and incitement is true, but we do not have to refuel that.”

Ya’alon specifically referred to MK Moshe Feiglin of his own Likud party, who visited the Temple Mount after activist Yehuda Glick was shot.

"He has a right to do so - of course. But when someone comes and in a provocative manner, the night before, publishes online his plans to visit, and challenges the status quo to which we are obligated as a government - obviously it incites,” said Ya’alon who added there is currently no place to discuss allowing Jews to pray on the Temple Mount “as long as the status quo does not allow it.”

The Defense Minister was asked about the criticism by ministers from the Cabinet about the way Israel is dealing with the escalation in the capital, and attacked the ministers for expressing their views in the media instead of in Cabinet meetings.

"When incidents of this type take place, it is not appropriate to make cynical political use which threatens stability. If you have complaints, air them out in the Cabinet. That’s an opportunity to express themselves," said Ya’alon.

He rejected Economy Minister Naftali Bennett's comments against the placing of concrete blocks near the entrances to the Jerusalem Light Rail in an attempt to prevent terrorism. Bennett said the move was a reward to terrorism and that Israel needs to deter terrorists from carrying out attacks instead of focusing on methods of self-defense.

"Pikuach nefesh (a life-threatening situation) requires protective measures. This is pikuach nefesh," Ya'alon explained.

"I think that attacking is the best defense, but we still need to protect the lives of people. Now there is a phenomenon of hit-and-run attacks and the concrete blocks were required," he added.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)