Jerusalem District Police Commander Doron Turgeman decided on Wednesday, following an assessment of the situation, that the chairman of the Otzma Yehudit Party, MK Itamar Ben Gvir, will be permitted to ascend the Temple Mount on Thursday.
However, there will be another assessment of the situation on Thursday morning. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett can use his authority and prevent Ben Gvir from ascending the Temple Mount, but it appears as though Bennett is not expected to intervene in the police decision.
Ben Gvir normally ascends the Temple Mount on the eve of every Rosh Chodesh. He plans to enter through one of the other entrances to the compound in case he is not given a permit, and hand over to the police the responsibility for the situation in the event of clashes.
In a recorded conversation with an activist of Otzma Yehudit published on Wednesday, Ben Gvir is heard saying: "Every Rosh Chodesh eve I go up to the Temple Mount. Do you want to set conditions? I am willing to accept your conditions and I will arrive in a coordinated manner. But I'm afraid they're waiting and waiting so I cannot file an appeal with the Supreme Court against such an illegal decision. That is why I think they’re trying to trick me. There are ten active gates on the Temple Mount and they will find me there. If things get out of hand, it will only be Bennett and Barlev's fault."
Wednesday’s decision comes a day after Kan 11 News reported that Public Security Minister Omer Barlev had asked the head of the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) to provide an opinion that would prevent Knesset members from ascending the Temple Mount during the month of Ramadan.