1729 Jews visit Temple Mount during Tisha B'Av

20% rise in number of Jews visiting holy site during fast marking destruction of Temple. Minister vows to strengthen sovereignty over Mount.

Hezki Baruch ,

Jews ascend Temple Mount during Tisha B'Av fast
Jews ascend Temple Mount during Tisha B'Av fast
Haim Kroizer, Temple Movement

A total of 1,729 Jews visited the Temple Mount Sunday, during the traditional Tisha B’Av fast, which marks the destruction of the temples in Jerusalem.

The number of Jews visiting the Jerusalem holy site on the fast day rose 20% compared to last year, when 1,440 Jews ascended the Mount, according to figures released by the Public Security Ministry.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said he would continue to strengthen Israeli sovereignty over the Temple Mount, and protect Jewish visitation rights at the holy site.

“I will continue to work to strengthen Israeli sovereignty on the Temple Mount, just as I did over the past four years, during which the number of Jewish visitors to the Mount increased by a factor of three-and-a-half.”

Erdan praised the police department for working to ensure that “every Jew and every visitor can ascend the Temple Mount, special security situations and concerns for their safety notwithstanding.

The Temple Mount, which has been under Israeli sovereignty since June 1967, is administered by the Jordanian Waqf, or Islamic trust.

Jews and other non-Muslims are permitted to visit the Mount, but are strictly prohibited from praying or carrying any non-Muslim religious items.

Earlier on Sunday, police closed, then reopened the Mount to non-Muslim visitors, after Muslims clashed with police on the holy site.