The synagogue would be build upon the Temple Mount, but in an area that is indisputably not within the areas that require immersion and other preparations, according to Jewish law.

Ariel says that the synagogue would not change the Muslim status quo on the mount, which is home to the Al-Aksa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock.

“This is not a new idea,” Ariel stressed, “it has been brought up and considered countless times since the [1967] Six Day War [during which the Temple Mount was liberated from Jordanian occupation –ed.].”

The plan will be submitted to the Jerusalem municipality and the Committee for Design and Construction for approval. Ariel says that every aspect of the plan will be submitted to leading Torah scholars for approval.

The National Union MK, who visited the Temple Mount himself Monday, said that such a plan was an opportunity for the Muslim world to prove it is capable of rising above the violence and intolerance that have surfaced in the past year as a result of papal remarks and political cartoon portraying Islam’s founder Muhammad. Referring to Ariel's visit to the holy site, MK Talab el-Sana (Ta’al) said the “provocation” would bring nothing but “war and bloodshed.”

MK Ariel points out that every ruling by Israel’s Supreme Court regarding the matter of the Temple Mount has recognized the right of every Jew to pray on the Temple Mount. “This is rectification of a historic injustice, much more than the transport to Israel of [Theodore] Herzl’s children’s bones [as was done recently, in accordance with his wishes ed.].

"Since the destruction of the Holy Temple, the loss of our independence and the start of our exile and oppression during the destruction of the Second Temple, the Jewish presence at the site of our temple has always been an unmistakable symbol. The Romans, Byzantines and Crusaders expelled us and prevented Jews from entering Jerusalem, because they couldn’t stand to allow the Jewish nation to serve its G-d at this holy site. This synagogue will not interfere with believing Moslems who wish to pray at the Al-Aksa Mosque. On the contrary, this is an opportunity for the Moslem world to demonstrate and prove that it is tolerant enough."

Meanwhile, Jordan's King Abdullah II has donated a huge carpet to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and has announced a contest to design a fifth minaret for the mosque. The existing minarets have been affixed with green neon lights in recent years, dominating the Jerusalem skyline. The planned minaret would be constructed along the eastern wall of the Temple Mount and would be clearly visible towering above the Western Wall.

The project requires approval by the Israeli government before it can begin.