Arab MK: PM 'Dare Not' Ban Us from Temple Mount

Ayman Odeh slams Temple Mount ban on Arab MKs, claims Netanyahu has no 'authority' to prevent Arab visits to the site.

Yaakov Levi ,

Joint Arab list head Ayman Odeh
Joint Arab list head Ayman Odeh
Danielle Shitrit/Flash 90

Joint List chairman Ayman Odeh blasted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Thursday for extending the ban on Jewish MKs and ministers from ascending the Temple Mount to Arab MKs. 

“Netanyahu is wobbly, he does not have a position or a backbone," Odeh slammed. "Netanyahu has no authority, legally or morally, to prevent Arab MKs from visiting the Mount.”

Netanyahu initially forbade Jewish ministers and MKs from visiting the Temple Mount on Wednesday night, extending that ban to Arab MKs after the decision sparked outrage from his coalition. 

MK Uri Ariel called the ban targeting Jewish elected officials "unnatural and unfair" and demanded Arab MKs also be barred from the site. 

However, according to Odeh, Netanyahu does not have the authority to issue such a directive against the Joint List party. 

Odeh said that the the Temple Mount “is occupied territory that is under the protection of the King of Jordan and the Muslim Waqf. Netanyahu continues to be led by radical settlers who control his coalition and are driving us all to the edge of the cliff."

“If Netanyahu was really concerned about security, he would stop trying to deal with small 'fires' and enter into real negotiations that will resolve the conflict and lead to an independent Palestinian state and end the occupation,” Odeh added.

Speaking to Israel Radio on Thursday, Arab MK Ahmed Tibi said that he and a group of Arab MKs would arrive at the Temple Mount on Friday for prayers in direct opposition to the ban.

According to police, Arab MKs from the Joint List party have taken a central role in stirring up provocations on the Mount, which it claims is a Muslim holy site and should be closed to Jews.