Netanyahu at Kotel
Netanyahu at KotelIsrael news photo: Netanyahu's Facebook page

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu lit the eighth and final Hannukah candle at the Kotel Saturday evening.

"In recent days, I have heard that the Palestinians are saying that the Western Wall is occupied territory," Netanyahu said.

"I want to tell them from the closet possible place to where the miracle of the jar of oil occurred: The Western Wall has been ours for 3,000 years, and it and the State of Israel will be ours forever."

A growing number of Israeli Jews see the Kotel as being relatively insignificant compared to the Temple Mount itself, and long for the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple that once stood there. The Kotel is a remainder of an external supporting wall of the Temple Mount.

Activism calling for the return of Jewish worship on the Temple Mount has been growing stronger in recent years, but many rabbis remain opposed to this. They hold that ascending the Mount is forbidden to Jews until the Temple is rebuilt, because of halakhic purity issues, but they strongly wish for the Mount to be in Jewish hands..