Security official:
'Minister Ariel can blame only himself'

Security official rejects Minister Ariel’s claim that Netanyahu prevented him from ascending the Temple Mount.

Nitsan Keidar ,

Uri Ariel
Uri Ariel
Hillel Maeir/TPS

A security official on Thursday evening rejected Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel’s (Jewish Home) claim that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu prevented him from ascending the Temple Mount this coming Sunday on the occasion of Tisha B'Av.

The official claimed that Minister Ariel can mainly blame himself for the situation.

"When the ban on Knesset members from ascending the Temple Mount was lifted, the defense establishment set rules according to which every MK could go up to the Temple Mount once every three months. Minister Ariel rushed to be the first one to ascend, knowing that the next time he could go up would be only months later,” said the official.

The security official hinted that Ariel had acted in bad faith when he knew he would not be permitted to go up to the Temple Mount, and yet made sure to make his request public in order to "make a political gain".

The official said the Prime Minister is not involved in any specific ascension to the Temple Mount, and added that there are clear instructions on the issue that have been drawn up for Knesset members and cabinet ministers.

Arutz Sheva reported earlier on Thursday that Ariel's request was rejected following a request by the Jordanian government, which claimed that in his recent ascension to the Temple Mount, Minister Ariel linked the importance of going up to the Temple Mount with the weekly Torah portion of Pinchas.

Minister Ariel said in response, "We hope and pray that Tisha B'Av will be a joyous day, as the prophet says, that the Temple will be built, that there will be no more fasts and we will be able to sacrifice all the sacrifices we have read about in Parshat Pinchas. We will be able to fulfill it and not just learn about it."

"On the eve of Tisha B'Av, we must strengthen sovereignty throughout our land, starting with the Temple Mount and from there to the Galilee and the Negev," he added.