Temple Mount reopens to Jewish visitors


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Temple Mount was opened to Jewish visitors, three days after being closed following a terror attack.

The site was opened to both Jewish visitors and tourists on Monday, a day after two of the nine entrances reopened to Muslim worshippers, with metal detectors and security cameras installed. The Mughrabi Gate entrance for Jews and tourists already had metal detectors in place.

Monday is the first time that Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount are not under scrutiny by guards for the Muslim Waqf, the Islamic trust that oversees the holy site, since Muslims are boycotting the site over the presence of the metal detectors.  The Waqf guards usually watch to make sure Jewish visitors do not pray or do any other religious rituals at the site.

Israel closed the site on Friday after three Arab-Israeli visitors to the site opened fire on Israel Police guarding the area, killing two Druze-Arab Israel Police officers.


Police spent the two days of the Temple Mount closure searching the site for weapons, and reportedly removed their shoes when they entered the holy site to conduct their searches. Knives, slingshots, batons, spikes, unexploded ordnance, binoculars and dummy plastic weapons were found at the site, but no firearms or ammunition, Haaretz reported.

Muslims say that the metal detectors and other security measures violate the status quo at the Temple Mound. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he will retain the status quo at the site.