JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel Police will bar Jews and tourists from visiting the Temple Mount on Jerusalem Day.
It reportedly will be the first time that the holiest site to Jews will be closed on day marking the reunification of Jerusalem under Israeli control in 30 years.
The site is closed every year on the last days of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which this year falls out at the same time as Jerusalem Day, which is on June 1.
The police said the site will be closed to Jews and tourists “for reasons of public safety and public order.”
The Temple Mount, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and the location of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, is the third holiest site in Islam and is believed by Muslims to be the site where the prophet Muhammad was transported from Mecca before ascending to Heaven.
Jews are allowed to visit the site at certain times of the day and week but are not allowed to pray or display Jewish symbols. Thousands visited the Temple Mount for Jerusalem Day last year.
On Friday, the first Friday of Ramadan, about 180,000 worshipers prayed on the Temple Mount at the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Haaretz reported that the police also may limit the route of and the number of participants in the annual flag march on Jerusalem day in which tens of thousands of religious Zionist teens march through the Old City, including the Muslim Quarter, in an event that has frequently caused tension between Jews and Arabs.