1,000 Jews ascend Temple Mount during Tisha B'Av fast

As Jews mourn destruction of Temple, over 1,000 visit Temple Mount - but many more kept waiting at entrance to holy site.

Uzi Baruch,

Jews visit Temple Mount
Jews visit Temple Mount

More than 1,000 Jews ascended the Temple Mount on Tuesday during the annual Tisha B’Av fast, commemorating the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple nearly 2,000 years ago.

Unlike Muslim visitors to the Mount, who are permitted to pray at the holy site and are not required to undergo any security check to enter, the Jewish visitors were required to pass through metal detectors, submit to security searches, and agree not to engage in prayer while visiting the Temple Mount.

Special magnetometer metal detectors had been placed at all entrances to the Temple Mount last month, following the July 14th murder of two Israeli Border Police officers by a trio of Israeli-Arab terrorists near the Temple Mount.

After less than two weeks, Israel removed not only the metal detectors, but also security cameras, following violent protests and a wave of terror attacks. Immediately after Muslim worshippers returned to the site following the removal of the metal detectors, Arabs rioted on and around the Mount. Some 100 people were injured in clashes with security forces.

While over 1,000 Jews were permitted to ascend the mount Tuesday morning, hundreds more waited in line for hours at the entrance, with police capping the number of Jews allowed on the Mount at any given time.

Former National Union MK Michael Ben-Ari said he was forced to wait more than two-and-a-half hours. Nevertheless, Ben-Ari told Arutz Sheva he was optimistic about progress for increased Jewish rights on the Temple Mount.

“There is no question that there is a revolution taking place,” Ben-Ari told Arutz Sheva.

“Many people are waiting in line, the magnetometer [metal detectors] are operating, and the checks are extensive. The people of Israel are returning to the Temple Mount, and I suggest Raed Salah find a new place,” said Ben-Ari, referring to former Umm al-Fahm mayor and head of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Raed Salah.

Salah has backed violent opposition to any Jewish presence on the Temple Mount and called for the Islamic conquest of Jerusalem.