JERUSALEM (JTA) – A Jerusalem-based organization that wants to build a third temple on the Temple Mount claims it held a secret Jewish wedding there, which goes against the status quo at the site holy to Jews and Muslims.
The ceremony consisted of the groom reciting the necessary declaration and placing a ring on the bride’s finger while two witnesses observed, Ynet reported, citing The Temple Institute, which announced the wedding on Tuesday evening.
The short ceremony was documented on video, according to the institute, which released still photos of the ring on the bride’s finger. In all there were 13 members of the wedding party, the group said. One member of the wedding party distracted police and the members of the Islamic Waqf, which governs the Temple Mount, while the rite took place. Another shielded the couple from view, it said.
According to the status quo on the Temple Mount, Jews are not allowed to pray or conduct religious rituals there.
News of the marriage there, as well as the upcoming Passover holiday that brings more Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount, is likely to raise tensions and violence there.
Palestinian leaders warned on Wednesday in interviews and a statement that the “provocation” of many Jewish visitors to the site during the Passover holiday will lead to increased violence.
“Al-Aqsa is a red line, people will not think twice about protecting it,” Adnan Gaith, the head of the Palestinian Fatah party’s armed Tanzim wing in Jerusalem, told Israel Radio in reference to the mosque on the Temple Mount. Gaith said the visits “will not bring about peace or quiet.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday repeated his injunction against both Jewish and Muslim lawmakers visiting the Temple Mount.
Clashes that erupted at the Temple Mount in September led to the wave of deadly violence of Palestinians on Israelis that began in October on the eve of Rosh Hashanah.