(JTA) – Yehuda Glick, an Israeli lawmaker from the Likud party, held office hours outside an entrance to the Temple Mount to protest an ongoing ban against Knesset members visiting the holy site.
Glick, a long-time activist for Jewish prayer rights at the Temple Mount, told reporters that the action Monday would only last one day.
“I’m here to protest the fact that the prime minister won’t enable police to allow us to enter the Temple Mount,” he said. “I suffer every day I can’t enter the Temple Mount.” “There’s no reason in the world to think that my entering the Temple Mount will stir trouble.”
In 2014, a Palestinian terrorist shot and nearly killed Glick for his Temple Mount activism.
Since capturing the Temple Mount from Jordan in 1967, Israel has controlled access but allowed Jerusalem’s Islamic authority to manage the site, which is holy to Jews and Muslims alike.
In November 2015, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered lawmakers to stay off the Temple Mount amid a wave of Palestinian terrorism linked to claims that Israel was trying to change the status quo. Israel denied the claims. After Glick filed a petition against the ban, Netanyahu in early July decided to allow lawmakers to visit the site on a trial basis.
However, on July 14, before the decision went into effect, three Arab Israelis shot dead two policemen on the Temple Mount. Israel responded by suspending the plan and installing walk-through metal detectors at the Muslim entrances to the site. Amid prayer sessions, riots and regional pressure, Israel eventually removed the metal detectors. But the ban on visits by lawmakers remains in place.
Still, in July, some 3,200 Jewish Israelis visited the Temple Mount – more than in any month since the state took control of the site.