Israel Police recommend lifting ban on lawmakers’ visits to Temple Mount


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Israel Police reportedly have recommended that Israeli lawmakers be allowed to resume visits to the Temple Mount following a yearlong ban.

Israel’s Channel 2 reported Tuesday that police recommended that both Jewish and Muslim lawmakers be permitted to visit if they coordinate in advance with the police. The media would not be allowed to cover the visits and no speeches would be permitted at the site.

The Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement issued Tuesday evening that Benjamin Netanyahu “will soon convene the relevant security officials, listen to their position and then make a decision. Until then there is no change in policy.”

Lawmakers, both Jewish and Muslim, have been banned from visiting the holy site since October 2015 over fears of incitement, but lawmakers from the Arab Joint List have broken the ban several times in the last year.

The Prime Minister’s Office issued the ban at the time to “cool the atmosphere around the Temple Mount” following a wave of Palestinian violence against Israeli targets. The violence occurred amid a backdrop of tensions there over non-Muslim visits and what the Arab world claims is an attempt to “Judaize” the site, the location of the Jewish people’s two Temples.

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