Photo by TPS on 18 July, 2021

Islamist Member of Bennett’s Coalition Says Kotel Belongs to Muslims

Jerusalem By Aryeh Savir/TPS • 19 July, 2021

Jerusalem, 19 July, 2021 (TPS) -- The Jews have no right to access the Temple Mount and the Kotel also belongs to the Muslims, said Member of Knesset (MK) Mansour Abbas on Sunday.

Mansour, a member of the Islamist Ra’am party in the Knesset and a member of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s coalition, forcefully came out against the some 1,800 Jews who visited the Temple Mount on Sunday to mark the day of Tisha B’Av.

“Al-Aqsa Mosque is a pure right of Muslims, and others have no right to it,” Abbas stated in Arabic.

“The Islamic movement inside the Palestinian territories and the United Arab List warned against large numbers of settlers storming and violating the sanctity of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque since the morning hours, the heart of the hearts of more than two billion Muslims in the world,” he wrote, threatening that this “may result in events and inflame the situation in Jerusalem and the entire region that may lead to a devastating religious war, especially as Israel allows official figures and members of the Knesset to storm Al-Aqsa, perform prayers, perform religious rituals, and sing the Israeli national anthem “Hatikva” in the courtyards of the blessed Al-Aqsa.”

He accused the police of “storming Al-Aqsa and besieging worshipers and emptying the mosque of Muslim worshipers.” The police encountered a riot early Sunday morning at the holy site and quickly suppressed it.

Ra’am affirms that “the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, with all its 144-dunams area, is a pure right of Muslims and no one else has any right in it, and that the Islamic movement and all our people inside the Palestinian interior and Al-Quds Al-Sharif will stand as an impenetrable dam against all attempts by extremists to impose a new fait accompli or any kind of division, temporal and spatial, inside the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

The term 144-dumans in Islamic lure refers to the Kotel and the Kotel plaza.

Ra’am was joined by Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, the Palestinian Authority, and Hamas who likewise condemned the Jewish visits to the Temple Mount.

MK Miri Regev, of the Likud, stated that in” light of Abbas’ cheeky, abusive and defiant statement, it was fitting that Bennett should make it clear to Abbas that today, the day the Jewish people mourn the destruction of the Temple, not only will Jews ascend the Temple Mount, but it is time for Jews to pray on the Temple Mount.”

“Freedom of worship is a basic right of every citizen, every person is entitled to come and pray in his holy place. Only in the State of Israel are Jews discriminated against and unable to pray on the Temple Mount. This status quo must be changed,” she stated.

Bennett released a statement Sunday evening thanking the Public Security Minister and the Israel Police Inspector General for “managing the events on the Temple Mount with responsibility and consideration, while maintaining freedom of worship for Jews on the Mount.”

He also “emphasized that freedom of worship on the Temple Mount will be fully preserved for Muslims as well.”

The office of Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas condemned Bennett’s statement, saying it was “an escalation that would lead to a dangerous religious conflict for which the Israeli government would be held accountable.”

Bennett’s office clarified later that he meant “freedom of visit” for Jews and not freedom of worship.