Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon on Monday demanded that Jews receive the same rights to free worship on the Temple Mount afforded to Muslims. Danon made the demand in the wake of the forced removal of hundreds of Jews who had come to the site on Monday morning, the eve of the Ninth of Av.
Speaking to Arutz Sheva, Danon said that the current situation on the Mount, in which Arabs riot if a Jew dares to mutter a prayer on the Mount, could no longer be allowed to continue.
“We are in favor of freedom of religion on the Temple Mount, and that means freedom for all religions,” Danon said. “That includes Jews. We must take steps to ensure that Jews are not only able to visit the Temple Mount, but are also able to pray there. I see no logic in allowing Muslims to pray there, but not Jews. I am committed to this idea,” Danon said.
"We don't need a permit from the Muslim world"
Earlier Monday, hundreds of Jews came to the Temple Mount were forced to leave as as Muslim worshippers physically blocked them, and appeared to be preparing to riot.
“Today, on the eve of Tisha B'Av, the Israel Police failed do discharge its duties again,” Michael Fuah of the Jewish Leadership faction of the Israeli Likud Party, who was at the Mount., said.
"Hundreds of Jews who came to the Mount from all parts of the Land of Israel, were kept waiting for a long time at the entrance to the Mount, at the only gate where Jews are allowed to pass, while hundreds of Muslims entered from the other gates without any check or delay.
“As the third group that the police allowed inside entered the Mount, many Muslims began to gather and shout. As usual, instead of preventing the rioters from ascending to the Mount and grouping together, the police quickly informed the Jewish pilgrims that it will not allow them to carry out a full tour of the Mount, and quickly made them leave through the nearest gate,” Fuah said.
Danon sad that such incidents were no reason to prevent Jews from praying at the site.
“We do not need a permit from the Muslim world to for every little thing we do. We do what is best for the Jewish people. It is the job of police to take all scenarios into account and ensure freedom of worship for Jews at the Temple Mount,” Danon added.
“Our rights to Jerusalem are eternal, and not dependent on anyone else. During these days when we commemorate the destruction of Jerusalem we can put all the international pressures and threats in perspective. Anyone who believes in our historic rights will not be frightened off by these threats.”