Likud lawmaker plans Temple Mount visit

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Likud lawmaker Miri Regev said she would visit the Temple Mount to examine the possibility of Jews being allowed to pray there.


Regev made the announcement Wednesday after she was elected chair of the Knesset Interior and Environment Committee.

“I don’t understand why a Jew is not allowed to pray in the most sacred place for him – the Temple Mount,” Regev said shortly after being elected. 

Jews generally are not permitted to pray or bring any ritual objects to the Temple Mount, which is considered Judaism’s holiest site, in order to avoid confrontation with Muslim worshipers at the Al-Aksa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site. The site is overseen by the Muslim Wakf.

The September 2008 visit to the Temple Mount by Ariel Sharon is widely regarded as one of the sparks that touched off the second Palestinian Intifada.

In March, Likud lawmaker Moshe Feiglin was denied access to the Dome of the Rock; his request led to Muslim rioting and caused the site to be closed for several hours. Feiglin visits the Temple Mount once a month on the 19th of the Hebrew month, and often brings visitors with him.

Feiglin was detained by Israel police in January for praying on the Temple Mount. He also was arrested in October for praying at the site. In December he led a minyan at the site that was caught on video and widely distributed.

Regev also said she would work to resolve the issue of women’s prayer at the Western Wall, according to Haaretz.

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