Temple Mount memorial mourns slain 13-year-old Israeli girl

JERUSALEM (JTA) – At least 50 people ascended the Temple Mount for a memorial with the family of slain West Bank teen Hallel Yaffa Ariel.

It was the largest group of Jews permitted to visit the Temple Mount in the past year, according to Haaretz.

About 200 supporters gathered afterward at the Western Wall plaza to support the family. They sang and danced in memory of Hallel, a 13-year-old who was stabbed to death while sleeping in her home in the Kiryat Arba settlement by a teenage Palestinian.

“Thank you to all who came,” Rina Ariel, the girl’s mother, told supporters on the Temple Mount. “We did not come this morning to cry. We have cried a lot and we will cry more. We came to be strengthened and to strengthen others.”

Ariel called for the Mughrabi Gate, through which non-Muslim visitors may enter the Temple Mount, to be renamed Hallel Gate.

Knesset members who came to support the family were prohibited by police from ascending the Temple Mount, including Yehuda Glick and Oren Hazan of the Likud party and Bezalel Smotrich and Uri Ariel of  Jewish Home. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered MKs not to visit the Temple Mount in order to prevent inflaming tensions with the Muslim community.

The 17-year-old who killed Hallel was from a nearby Palestinian village. Civilian guards shot and killed the attacker.

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