Jewish visitors at entrance to Temple Mount, July 18th 2021
Jewish visitors at entrance to Temple Mount, July 18th 2021צילום: יהונתן גוטליב

More than 1,600 Jewish visitors ascended the Temple Mount Sunday for prayers marking the Tisha B’Av fast day, drawing the ire of the Islamic Movement in Israel, and its political representatives in the Knesset.

According to the Bayadenu organization, which organized mass visits to the holy site, a total of 1,679 Jews visited the Temple Mount as of Sunday afternoon, a 42% increase over last year's Tisha B'Av fast.

The United Arab List, a coalition partner which represents the Southern Islamic Movement in Israel, condemned the Jewish prayers on the Temple Mount, warning Jewish worshippers on the holy site could cause Arab riots and ultimately spark a “religious war”.

“We warn settlers and Knesset Members against trying to break into the Al Aqsa Mosque, and warn of [possible] serious disruptions of order which could lead to a regional religious war,” UAL said in a statement Sunday.

The UAL also claimed the Temple Mount, which it referred to as a “mosque courtyard”, is under “full Islamic ownership”.

“We will not accept prayers and the singing of the Hatikva [Israeli national anthem] in the mosque courtyard, all 35.6 acres of which is under full Islamic ownership.”

Senior UAL officials condemned Yamina MKs who visited the Temple Mount Sunday, including Yomtov Kalfon and Amichai Chikli.

“Anyone in the coalition who permits Knesset Members from their party to ascend the Al Aqsa Mosque courtyard in order to score points with their base should not expect any understanding or accommodation from us.”