Ariel Cancels Temple Mount Visit Over Security

November 24, 2014  

Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) has retracted his decision to ascend the Temple Mount Monday night, in deference to the severity of the security situation in Jerusalem. 

Last week, Ariel’s office appealed to the VIP security unit of the Israel Security Agency (ISA or Shin Bet) to request a security detail for the Housing Minister in light of his Temple Mount visit.

The unit responded by asking, politely, that Ariel reconsider the request in light of the wave of terror attacks in Jerusalem and he has reportedly agreed as of Monday night to drop the visit. 

Ariel used to visit the Temple Mount, which is Judaism’s holiest site, once every few months – and did so for several years. 

However, during his last visit, in September, he was “welcomed” by violent Arab rioting that disrupted his video broadcast of Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) wishes from the Mount. 

During his visit, dozens of Arab rioters renewed their fusillade of fireworks at police forces at the Mughrabi Gate, the sole entrance for Jews to the site that is under the de facto control of the Jordanian Waqf (Islamic trust).

“The sovereignty over the Temple Mount is in our hands and we must strengthen it,” said Ariel from the site. “It cannot be that rioters will time and again take advantage of the sanctity of the site for riots, disorder and attacks on Jews.”

“I wish us that in the coming year – may it be a good year – the state of Israel will know to strengthen the sovereignty on the Temple Mount, to prevent the Arab rioting and chaos, and allow free entry to Jews and all those interested in doing so,” added Ariel.

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