Israeli ministers and MKs announced on Monday their intents to alter the status quo at the holy al-Aqsa Mosque, challenging a 1993 deal with Jordan granting the latter sovereignty over the mosque, among other Islamic holy sites in Occupied Jerusalem.
Speaking at a Knesset-hosted conference organised by “Temple Mount” activists advocating fundamental changes in the status quo at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, Israeli ministers and MKs launched calls for splitting up the site between Muslims and Israelis.
Three cabinet ministers were among those at the gathering, which saw the launch of a new Knesset “Temple Mount Lobby”.
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan told the gathering: “In my opinion, our right to the Temple Mount is unshakeable”, complaining that “the current status quo…discriminates against the Jewish people.”
Meanwhile, Environmental Affairs Minister Zeev Elkin “applauded” the “Temple Mount” activists, saying: “Often you are doing the work that the government doesn’t do as regards Jews’ right to the temple.”
Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel appealed for the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound to be open to Jewish prayer, yelling: “End the disgrace, end the wretchedness, end the lack of sovereignty.”
Deputy Defence Minister Eli Ben-Dahan similarly told the conference: “We have to call upon the government and Knesset to permit Jewish prayer [in the compound], to make Jewish prayer something normal and permitted.”
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely also “urge[d] everyone” to enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound if they have not yet done so.
Rafael Morris, the founder of the “Return to the Mount” movement, told the conference: “When we can say the Temple Mount is ours and only ours and there isn’t room there for anyone else, then we can be victorious in Amona [illegal West Bank outpost], then we can conquer not only the Temple Mount but Jordan and Syria too, and establish a real Jewish state over all the land of Israel.”
Yesterday marked the first time that this annual conference had been held at the Knesset, and was organised by fanatic “Temple Mount” campaigner and Likud MK Yehuda Glick.
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