JERUSALEM (JTA) — Five residents of eastern Jerusalem were charged with planning a shooting attack on the Temple Mount.
The Palestinian men, aged 20 to 25, were charged Wednesday with attempted kidnapping, attempted murder, aiding the enemy at a time of war, contact with a foreign agent and weapons charges, according to Ynet.
The indictment filed in Jerusalem District Court said the men planned to kill Jewish worshipers at the Temple Mount and to throw a grenade into the Israel Police station in eastern Jerusalem, as well as kidnap a Jewish man and kill him with his own weapon. The indictment said they abducted a Jewish man hitchhiking near Givat Zeev last month but released him since he did not carry any firearms.
The men, who met several times in February and March, had turned to terror groups in the West Bank and Gaza for weapons and explosives training, according to the indictment.
They have been remanded to police custody for the duration of their trials.
Also Wednesday, Likud lawmaker Miri Regev said she would visit the Temple Mount to examine the possibility of Jews being allowed to pray there.
"I don’t understand why a Jew is not allowed to pray in the most sacred place for him, the Temple Mount," Regev said shortly after being elected chair of the Knesset Interior and Environment Committee.
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, Islam’s third holiest site. The site is overseen by the Muslim Wakf.
Likud lawmaker Moshe Feiglin has been denied access to the site, and he has been arrested for praying there. Feiglin visits the Temple Mount once a month on the 19th of the Hebrew month, and often brings visitors with him.