Jerusalem's Temple Mount is a focal point of the upcoming holiday of Hannukah, as it is for many aspects of the Jewish faith. As such, Israeli lawmakers are insisting that Jews have freer access to the Temple Mount over the week-long festival.
"Just because some Muslims throw stones when Jews go up to the Temple Mount is not a reason to prevent them from going, as happened over Succot," Knesset Members Miri Regev (Likud), chairwoman of the Knesset Interior Committee, told police officials during a committee session on Monday.
Regev noted that "special arrangements are made for Muslim prayer [on the Temple Mount] during Ramadan and similar arrangements must be made for Jewish visits on Jewish holidays."
Jews and Christians are only permitted to visit the Temple Mount under severe restrictions. Despite it being the holiest site on earth to Jews and many Christians, they are forbidden from carrying Bibles or praying while inside the compound for fear of "inciting" Muslim violence.
Many times, the Temple Mount is simply closed to Jews and Christians all together if police feel there is even a chance that the Muslims could riot.
Arab Knesset Member Masud Gnaim (UAL-Ta’al) countered that the Temple Mount is "occupied territory" and is "holy [only] to hundreds of millions of Muslims and not to Jews."
Many Muslims have convinced themselves that the Jews have no historical connection to the Temple Mount and only try to visit the site today in order to complete their modern "conquest" of the Holy Land.
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