Netanyahu pressured to permit the visits of Knesset members to Temple Mount

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent decision to permit a trial period allowing members of Knesset to visit the Temple Mount was made amid pressures from the Jerusalem District Police and a letter from MK Yehuda Glick.
Netanyahu and Glick Photo Credit: Hadas Parush/Flash90/Reuters/Channel 2 News

On Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to allow Knesset members, both Jewish and Arab, to visit the Temple Mount. Yesterday (Thursday), Israel’s Channel 2 News discovered that Netanyahu’s decision was made due to a policy paper written by Jerusalem District Police Commander Yoram Ha-Levy as well as a “threatening” letter from MK Yehuda Glick.

The District Commander told the Prime Minister’s Office that as far as the Jerusalem District Police is concerned, there is no problem with permitting Knesset members to ascend the Temple Mount, as opposed to Netanyahu’s previous decision of stopping the renewal of the visits after the July terror attack at the site.

It appears that a disagreement existed between various professionals, including Ha-Levy himself and Netanyahu. While Netanyahu and his advisors wished to implement a temporary one-day pilot allowing the visits, police forces thought that a week-long pilot should be permitted, starting this coming Sunday.

A police official verified these details and added: “The police’s opinion is clear, there is no reason to prevent members of Knesset from entering the compound.”

Glick, an Orthodox rabbi and longtime campaigner for expanding Jewish access to the Temple Mount, wrote a letter to Netanyahu titled, “My intention to ascend the Temple Mount soon.” In the letter, Glick warned that if the visits of Knesset members to the Temple Mount are not renewed, he intends to go anyway, as he indeed attempted to do on Wednesday together with MK Shuli Mualem. Their attempt to enter the complex was blocked by the police.

Glick and Mualem at the entrance of Temple Mount Photo Credit: Channel 2 News

Glick wrote that he does not wish to reveal the content of the letter to the media; however, he said that if he does not get a favorable response, he will be forced to do so. 

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