JERUSALEM (JTA) — Moshe Feiglin, a Knesset member from the Likud party, was prevented from entering the Dome of the Rock and then removed from the Temple Mount.
Feiglin visited the Temple Mount on Monday and asked to be allowed to enter the Dome of the Rock in his capacity as a Knesset member. He was refused by a member of the Waqf, the Muslim body that oversees the Temple Mount, who said the shrine is not open to non-Muslims.
That attracted the attention of Muslim worshipers, who began to riot. In response, the entire Temple Mount was closed to visitors, according to reports.
Feiglin visits the Temple Mount once a month on the 19th of the Hebrew month and often brings guests with him.
Jews generally are not permitted to pray or bring any ritual objects to the Temple Mount, which is considered Judaism’s holiest site, in order to avoid confrontation with Muslim worshipers at the Al-Aksa Mosque.
Non-Muslims are prohibited from entering the Dome of the Rock, a Muslim shrine to the place where Muslims believe the prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven. The rock also is believed to be the spot of the Holy of Holies of the Judaism’s Holy Temple. Jews generally do not enter the shrine due to its historical holiness.
Feiglin was detained by Israel police in January for praying on the Temple Mount. He also was arrested in October for praying at the site. In December he led a minyan at the site that was caught on video and widely distributed.