Temple Mount pilot program issues restricted access to Israeli Knesset members

Two days before the launch of the one-time pilot program in which Knesset members will be allowed to enter the Temple Mount, the Knesset Master-at-Arms published a list of restrictions. Among the requirements: Jewish and Arab Knesset members will have different visiting hours and media interviews are prohibited.
MK Yehuda Glick at the Temple Mount last week Photo Credit: Arnon Segel/Channel 2 News

This Tuesday, Knesset members will be permitted to enter the Temple Mount as part of an Israel Police pilot program, the Knesset Master-at-Arms announced this evening (Sunday). However, due to concerns of clashes, Jewish and Arab Knesset members will be required to coordinate their visits at different times, while Israeli government ministers are completely prohibited from entering the compound. The pilot program is aimed at granting Knesset members a one-time permit to enter the Temple Mount.

Knesset Master-at-Arms Maj. Gen. Yosef Griff mentioned in a letter to Knesset members that the program should have been approved much earlier, but was delayed as a result of the Temple Mount terror attack which occurred two months ago. He added that the set conditions for entering the compound were determined by security officials and that visits shall be coordinated 24 hours in advance solely with the Knesset Officer, subject to the approval of the Israel Police Commissioner or Jerusalem District Commander and according to the specific situational assessment towards the visiting date.

Due to the desire to leave the Temple Mount out of the political arena, speeches will be prohibited during the visit along with providing interviews to the media, unless it is performed outside of the compound’s gates. Entrance or participation in meetings or discussions inside the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf’s offices at the Temple Mount is also prohibited. Furthermore, Knesset members are forbidden from being accompanied by other important Israeli or foreign figures without separate coordination or permission and from being accompanied by media representatives from the moment they enter the compound.

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