Israeli lawmaker Hotovely visits Temple Mount before her wedding


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli lawmaker Tzipi Hotovely called for free access to the Temple Mount for all Jews after visiting the holy site the day before her wedding.

Hotovely, the deputy minister of transportation from the Likud Party, was accompanied by relatives on Sunday’s visit, according to reports. She was scheduled to marry attorney Or Alon on Monday.

The lawmaker coordinated her visit with the Israel Police commissioner. Other high-profile Israeli lawmakers have been denied access or decided not to visit due to rising tensions in recent months.

“Going up to the Temple Mount before my wedding is important to me,” Hotovely said after her visit. “Establishing a home and a family unit is not just a private event, but has a public and national dimension of rebuilding from the ruins of Jerusalem.”

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.

In calling for free access to the site for all Jews, Hotovely added, “Limitations on public figures visiting the Mount are not appropriate.”

In March, Likud lawmaker Moshe 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.

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.

Recommended from JTA