Arab rioters on Temple Mount
Arab rioters on Temple Mountצילום: Jamal Awad/Flash90

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett pushed back Tuesday on reports that Israel has agreed to a Jordanian request expanding Muslim control over the Temple Mount.

In a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office Tuesday, Bennett denied that Israel had acceded to a Jordanian demand that Israel allow the Waqf – the Jordan-based Islamic trust which administers the Temple Mount – to assign an additional 50 personnel to the site.

"This is an event that took place about a month and a half ago. Indeed, about a month and a half ago, a Jordanian request was received to increase the Waqf presence on the Temple Mount by 50 guards but Israel did not find it appropriate to accede to the request,” Bennett said.

The Prime Minister added that the status quo on the Temple Mount remains intact, and emphasized that Israel will not permit foreign states to dictate policy on the holy site.

“In practice: Six Hamas-backed Waqf guards were removed from the Temple Mount, and 12 new Waqf positions were manned — all within the existing standards, without any increase.”

“There is no change or new development in the situation on the Temple Mount - Israel's sovereignty has been preserved.”

“All decisions on the Temple Mount will be made by the Israeli government out of considerations of sovereignty, freedom of religion and security, and not out of pressure from foreign or political factors.”

On Monday, Kan 11 reported that Public Security Minister Omer Barlev and the police have agreed to the Jordanian government's demands for an increased Waqf presence on the Temple Mount.

The report came following an ultimatum by the United Arab List that the government agree to Jordan’s terms, or lose the UAL’s support in the Knesset.