PM condemns Temple Mount visit as 'provocation'

Netanyahu slams Ghattas's visit as a deliberate attempt to inflame tensions, but warned MKs to remain calm.

Tova Dvorin , | updated: 2:07 PM

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu condemned the visit of an Arab MK to the Temple Mount despite a blanket ban on Wednesday, but qualified that MKs must remain calm in spite of their outrage. 

"The Mount has been quiet for two weeks and we are trying to keep the peace - and there is someone disturbing that peace," Netanyahu said, following a media storm over the visit of Joint List MK Basel Ghattas. 

"Ghattas did not ascend to the Temple Mount to pray, but only to cause a provocation and to inflame the situation."

Netanyahu was quick to temper his remarks, however.

"I call on all members of the Knesset to act responsibly at this time," he warned. 

Several MKs and ministers from across the political spectrum demanded Ghattas be reprimanded - or even removed from the Knesset - earlier Wednesday, noting that he flouted a specific order from Netanyahu and that the ascension constitutes incitement to terror.