Rabbi Lior made his comments on the Fast of the 17th of Tammuz, beginning the Three Weeks period leading up to the commemoration of the destruction of the First and Second Temples.

Two months after police began permitting non-Muslims to visit the Mount, only a very small number of traditional Jews have been included. At first, plain-clothes police officers were sent up to the Mount to ascertain the reaction of the Muslims. Afterwards, small groups of mostly Christian tourists were allowed in, while traditionally-dressed Jews (with kippot and tallitot, for example) were kept out. Now, while police have allowed some traditionally-attired Jews onto the Mount, they have also made it clear that Temple Mount activists would not be included in the groups being permitted to visit the holy site. Public Jewish prayer, police say, will in no case be allowed there.

The Temple Mount was liberated from Jordanian occupation by IDF troops in the June 1967 Six Day War. Since that time, the control of the holy site has been turned over to the Muslim Waqf Authority, which continues to ignore the Jewish connection to the site as well as civil law, carrying out major illegal construction projects while deliberately destroying any trace of the Mount's Jewish roots in an attempt to create an legitimate Islamic claim to the site.

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