Published On: Tue, Jun 14th, 2016

MKs May Be Allowed Visit Temple Mount After Ramadan

After being prohibited from visitng the holy site, Speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein has begun pushing to lift the ban on MKs

View_of_the_Temple_Mount_from_the_Mount_of_Olives wikimedia Israel Jerusalem

The Knesset Ethics Committee is set to discuss the current policy on Tuesday, which prohibits MKs from visiting the Temple Mount.

The discussion itself was brought about in light of police considerations to allow MKs to visit the site after the Muslim holiday of Ramadan. The ban was put in place for Jewish and Arab MKs alike to ascend the mount on the grounds that it may heighten tensions.

Indeed, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had originally pushed for the police to implement the ban six months ago, fearing that vsits by public figures to the Temple Mount may encourage incitement of violence. The police directive was accompanied by a warning by the Knesset Ethics Committee, which stated that any MK who visits the Temple Mount would be punished.

Two weeks prior, Arab MKs petitioned Speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein (Likud) requesting that they be allowed to visit the holy site during Ramadan. Their objection to the ban rested on grounds that it was inherently discriminatory, since it impinges on their freedom of movement unlike other citizens who are allowed to visit the Temple Mount.

Responding to their request, Edelstein consulted with Chief of Police Roni Alsheikh and Jerusalem District Commander Maj. Gen. Yoram Halevi on the matter. Following the discussions, Edelstein decided to work toward once again permitting MKs to visit the site.

Ynet News

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