Jew arrested on Temple Mount (illustrative)
Jew arrested on Temple Mount (illustrative)Flash 90

MK Aryeh Eldad (Ichud Leumi) called Thursday to end Muslim control over visits to the Temple Mount.

“The time has come to end the occupation,” he declared in a letter to Minister of the Interior Yitzchak Aharonovitch. “The Muslim occupation that occurred 1,300 years ago, and is still in effect on the Temple Mount, of course.”

Eldad was angered by the arrest of a Jewish visitor to the Temple Mount on Thursday morning, and the police’s decision to ban Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, the founder of the Temple Institute, from visiting the holy site. Rabbi Ariel was also one of the paratroopers who helped liberate the Temple Mount and Western Wall in the Six Day War of 1967.

“This is an unacceptable escalation of the affront to freedom of worship in Israel, and another step toward abandoning the Jewish people’s holiest place to the Arab enemy and the Waqf,” he charged.

Rabbi Yehuda Glick said that Rabbi Ariel had been refused entrance to the Temple Mount on Wednesday as he attempted to ascend in honor of Rosh Chodesh, the beginning of the next Jewish month. Police told Rabbi Ariel that he was permanently banned, and would not say why, Rabbi Glick said.

The Jewish man arrested Thursday morning was detained after quoting to his companions from the Mishnah, Rabbi Glick added. Jews are forbidden to pray on the Temple Mount, but are normally allowed to speak.

Also Thursday, a Jewish visitor to the Temple Mount complained that Islamic Waqf officials had ordered him to remove his kippah because it offended them.