MK Ahmad Tibi (Joint List) has sharply attacked a directive issued by the Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, stating that Jews will continue to be allowed to ascend to the Temple Mount on Tisha b’Av.
Writing on his Twitter account, Tibi stated: “This ‘government of change’ has submitted to the extreme right-wing in every issue, including the conquest of Jerusalem, cries of ‘Death to Arabs,’ and demonstrations in favor of ‘rebuilding the Temple.’”
Tibi also hinted at the possibility that riots could start up again as a result of Jewish prayer being conducted on the Temple Mount, writing, “This is a violation of the status quo. They are to be held fully responsible for everything that happens as a consequence.”
More than a thousand Jews ascended to the Temple Mount on the morning of Tisha b’Av (Sunday), the saddest day in the Jewish calendar, which marks the destruction of the first Holy Temple by the Babylonians and the second Temple by the Romans.
From seven o’clock in the morning, Jews were permitted to ascend to the Temple Mount, closely escorted by police. Among those who took advantage of the opportunity were MKs Amichai Chikli and Yomtov Kalfon of the Yamina party.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett conducted a situation assessment together with the Minister of Internal Security and the Police Commissioner, in order to gauge how events were proceeding on the Temple Mount. Bennett then issued a directive stating that Jews were to be permitted to continue to ascend to the Temple Mount in an orderly and secure manner, as long as calm was preserved. The Prime Minister will be receiving continuous updates on the situation and will reassess the issue later in the day.
Early on Sunday morning, Arabs rioted on the Temple Mount and threw stones at police operating nearby. Police then entered the main plaza on the Mount and managed to disperse the rioters without making arrests.
Speaking with Arutz Sheva this morning, MK Chikli said: “This is something very important to me – to ascend to the Temple Mount, to what remains of our Temple, which is the most visible national symbol of the Jewish People. This goes way beyond being a religious issue – it’s the closing of a historic circle.”
Chikli added that, “We first put in the request to be able to ascend on Tisha b’Av two weeks ago, and it wasn’t easy to get authorization, but we did it in the end.”