Arnon Segal
Arnon SegalIsrael National News

Temple Mount activist Arnon Segal told Israel National News on Thursday about efforts to visit the holy site, senior politicians who visit and will visit today, the number of visitors, and whether he received security warnings amid last week's Operation Shield and Arrow.

"We visit the Temple Mount five times a week, whenever it's open, we try to make the most of the little that we have. We welcome all of the visitors. Although tomorrow is Jerusalem Day, not today, but on Friday, the Mount is closed, and we do what we can to take advantage of the time we have," said Segal.

Segal described the VIP visitors who visited and will visit the holy site today: "I just finished a tour with Minister (for the Development of the Periphery, the Negev and the Galilee, Yitzhak) Wasserlauf, and the wife of the National Security Minister, Ayala Ben-Gvir. It isn't a given that a minister visits the Temple Mount, unfortunately. Right now, I'm waiting for a delegation of Knesset members that will tour the mount as well. What we need to do is just welcome each visitor and anyone who sees the tremendous value in visiting the Temple Mount."

Amid the IDF's Operation Shield and Arrow against the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza and the possibility of reescalation, Segal said: "Surprisingly, there were no warnings from security officials regarding visiting the mount today. We must work to improve Jewish rights on the Mount and to give meaning to the saying: 'The Temple Mount is in our hands'."

Regarding the rising numbers of visitors at the mount, Segal said: "We are seeing a rise in visits to the mount, if in 2009 there were 5,000 visitors in a year, in 2022 there were 50,000. From my little experience, I learned that everything depends on what happens in the field, up to every single visitor. It's stronger than any promise and every step by the government."

Segal concludes: "Happy Jerusalem Day, come to the Temple Mount after immersion in a ritual bath and without leather shoes."