Arab MKs to Test Netanyahu's Temple Mount Ban

Ahmed Tibi and other Arab Mks plan to protest - and test PM Netanyahu's declaration that all MKs are banned from the Temple Mount.

Yaakov Levi ,

MK Ahmed Tibi
MK Ahmed Tibi
Hadas Parush/Flash 90

To protest Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's declaration that all MKs, including Arab ones, are barred from visiting the Temple Mount until tensions calm, several Arab MKs will attend Friday prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque. 

After initially implmenting a ban on Jewish MKs from visiting the site on Wednesday, Netanyahu extended the ban to Arab MKs following outrage from his coalition. 

“Netanyahu first tried to calm things down by banning the entry of right-wing provocateurs like Uri Ariel to the site, but now he has made an about-face that will further aggravate things,” Ahmad Tibi told Israel Radio

If Netanyahu wants to keep Jewish MKs off the Temple Mount, then more power to him, said Tibi, but he had better not try to keep him nor other Arab MKs away from the site.

“This is an illegal, insane decision,” said Tibi. “To lump Arab MKs together with fanatics like Uri Ariel and Tsipi Hotovely is like accusing a homeowner of violence when he tries to defend his home from a robber. Al-Aqsa is ours. We will all be there on Friday."

Also attacking Netanyahu was MK Basel Ghattas – who is a Christian.

“This is just another media performance by Netanyahu. It is natural to ban Jewish MKs and ministers from a mosque where Muslims pray, at a site that should be under Palestinian control anyway. Netanyahu will not decide for us. We Arab MKs are all united.”

Speaking earlier, Joint List chairman Ayman Odeh accused Netanyahu of having "no authority, legally or morally, to prevent Arab MKs from visiting the Mount." 

"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,” Oudeh added.