Bennett on BBC: Read my lips - Temple Mount is open

Jewish Home chairman explains why Israel must keep the magnetometers at the entrance to the Temple Mount.

Arutz Sheva North America Staff ,

Naftali Bennett
Naftali Bennett
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Jewish Home chairman and Education Minister Naftali Bennett explained in an interview with the BBC on Friday that the decision to leave the metal detectors at the entrance to the Temple Mount was made in order “to defend everyone who wants to worship on the Temple Mount.”

The interview was conducted hours before Friday’s deadly stabbing attack in the Samaria community of Halamish.

“The only way that we can defend ourselves is by placing those metal detectors and I think that you’ll realize that there are metal detectors in the Vatican, there are metal detectors in the Western Wall, at Westminster, in Mecca…there’s no reason that we can’t maintain the metal detectors at the entrance to the Temple Mount,” he added.

“The Temple Mount is open to everyone,” Bennett stressed. “The metal detectors are vital for everyone’s security.”

The interviewer pressed Bennett on the issue of the metal detectors, pointing out that the Israel Security Agency had recommended that the detectors be removed, to which Bennett replied, “I suggest that you let us run our country and you run your TV show, because we need to provide security to our citizens, and to the millions of Muslims, Jews and Christians who worship in the holiest area of the world which is the ancient city.”

The police, Bennett pointed out, clearly said that the metal detectors are required and that there are no alternatives.

Asked about the “anxiety” among Arabs that the status quo on the Temple Mount is being changed, the Jewish Home leader said, “Read my lips: The Temple Mount is open. It’s open for prayers. It’s open for any Muslim who wants to worship. Yes, because of the ‘Day of Rage’ today there’s a temporary dilution of the number of people, but that will be removed the moment we see things are quiet.”

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)