Western wall and the Temple Mount
Western wall and the Temple Mount Mati Amar/TPS

On Sunday, on which Jews hold the fast of Tisha B’Av mourning the destruction of the Temple and other Jewish national calamities, Prime Minister Netanyahu decided that the Temple Mount would be closed to Jewish visitors. Later in the day, further assessments will be made and the possibility of allowing Jews to ascend the Temple Mount will be examined.

National Union Chairman Bezalel Smotrich protested the Prime Minister's decision not to allow Jews to ascend the Temple Mount.

"Closing the Temple Mount to the Jews on Tisha B'Av is an embarrassment and disgrace, the kind that reminds us why we are fasting today.

“The decision to surrender to terrorism and Arab violence at the holiest place of the Jewish people is at the root of the loss of deterrence in other sectors as well. So is the closing of the Cave of the Patriarchs today because of their ‘Eid’ holiday.

“For Mount Zion, which has become desolate; foxes prowl over it,” he added, citing the book of Lamentations read by Jews on Tisha B’Av.

Nevertheless, Jewish ascension to the Temple Mount has not been universally permitted among Religious Zionist leadership, with some major Religious Zionist rabbis having opposed it.