PM forbids MKs from ascending Temple Mount

Netanyahu once again bans Knesset Members from Judaism's holiest site as tensions flare with Palestinian Arabs.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

MKs Moalem and Glick at entrance to Temple Mount
MKs Moalem and Glick at entrance to Temple Mount
Eliran Aharon

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu forbade all Members of the Israeli Knesset (MKs) from ascending the Temple Mount Thursday as Israel prepares for large Arab protests and the beginning of the Passover holiday tomorrow.

In a letter sent to the Knesset speaker and to the heads of the security services, as the heads of the defense establishment, the head of the National Security Council explained that the directive was given in light of the "assessment by intelligence officials of the increasing potential of proliferation of violence in the Palestinian arena, in light of a multitude of events, days of reference and time, in both sectors of the Palestinian arena."

Netanyahu's order will remain in effect at least through June 15, which will mark the end of the Muslim month of Ramadan. The ban on MKs ascending the Temple Mount will be reexamined near the end of that period.

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein sent a letter to the MKs informing them of the prime minister's directive. "I would like to bring to your attention the opinion of the security officials that in light of the volatile security situation, the MKs' ascension to the Temple Mount will be restricted for the foreseeable future."

Edelstein asked the MKs to make the decision despite the difficulty it presents for them. "Due to the responsibility to protect the security of Israeli citizens, we must all show restraint and patience despite the unpleasantness."

In October 2015, Netanyahu also prohibited MKs from ascending the Temple Mount. Last month, MKs Shuli Mualem (Jewish home) Yehuda Glick (Likud) were allowed to ascend the Temple Mount on a one-time basis as part of a pilot decided by the Knesset officer.