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Israeli lawmaker Moshe Feiglin denied entrance to Temple Mount

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JERUSALEM (JTA) — Moshe Feiglin, a Knesset member from the Likud party, was denied entry to the Temple Mount on the second day of Passover.

Feiglin’s visit to the Temple Mount on Wednesday was prevented by police after information that hundreds of Arabs planned to protest his visit, the Jerusalem Post reported. He had coordinated his visit in advance with security officials.

Feiglin visits the Temple Mount once a month on the 19th of the Hebrew month and often brings guests with him. Wednesday’s attempted visit was the 16th of the Hebrew month of Nisan.

Feiglin told Israel Radio following his aborted visit that the “sovereignty of the site belongs to the Wakf and not to Israel.” The Jerusalem Wakf is the Muslim religious administration charged with managing the Temple Mount site.

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.
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Earlier this month, Feiglin was prevented from entering the Dome of the Rock and then removed from the Temple Mount. He had asked to be allowed to enter the Dome of the Rock in his capacity as a Knesset member.

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.

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