Police Chief Against Right-Wingers on Temple Mount

Danino says MKs like Feiglin should be banned from Mount, after attorney general orders to let them up in accordance with Israeli law.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Yohanan Danino
Yohanan Danino
Miriam Alster/Flash 90

Israel's police chief Yohanan Danino has come out publicly to oppose a decision by the attorney general to allow right-wing Jewish MKs to visit the Temple Mount, Judaism's holiest site.

"Anyone who wants to change the status-quo on the Temple Mount - it (should be) forbidden for him to go up there," Danino said at a conference in Sderot. "I banned (Likud MK Moshe) Feiglin from ascending the Mount until I had no backing from the attorney general. This is a mistake, to allow someone who is a symbol of (the movement to) change the status-quo."

"We want quiet and to restore security," he continued. "We are saying all the time 'let's do everything to not escalate the situation.' Again and again we go back to the Temple Mount - this is a place holy to many religions and we say to guard the status quo in order to guard the quiet there."

The discriminatory "status quo" at the site has been dictated by the Jordanian Waqf, which enjoys de facto rule and has forbidden Jewish prayer at the site. Despite the fact that Israeli law guarantees religious freedom of worship, Danino's police have submitted to the Waqf's ban in breach of Israeli law.

Danino's call also comes on the backdrop of the inability of police to rein in a growing wave of Arab terrorism in the capital, with many questioning why the police are following the Waqf's directives even as Arab rioters violently attack police on the Mount on a regular basis.

The chief of police went on to attack "members of the far-right," who he accused of "using" the cause of the Temple Mount to further their own agendas.

"We always warn that it is necessary to leave the Temple Mount alone. Members of Knesset don't understand what they are igniting, and it is wrong to touch the status quo. We need to be sensitive - to this day the Intifada of 2000 is called 'the Al Aqsa (Intifada) because it began there," he said.

In fact, Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) has noted that just as former Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Yasser Arafat incited that intifada over what he called "defilement" of the Temple Mount by Jews, current PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has followed his tactic exactly.

Danino detailed that police are currently patrolling in 12 hour shifts as was done during the unrest of Operation Protective Edge, saying "we cancelled vacation days, we enlisted officers and Civilian Patrol. I figure that in days like these we need to lower the tolerance for expressions of incitement and racism. We have no choice, we must return the country to a sane place."