A group of Israeli activists are calling on the government to establish a synagogue on the Temple Mount and open it for Jewish prayer.
According to Asaf Fried, a spokesman for an association of organizations dedicated to Jewish rights on the Temple Mount, more than 50 leaders from across the religious spectrum gathered on Sunday to discuss the situation on the Temple Mount, known as Har Habayit in Hebrew. Participants included Rabbi Yehudah Glick (Likud), Baruch Marzal (Otzma) and members of the Rabbinate.
Jews believe the site – venerated as holy in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam alike – is where the Beit Hamikdash used to sit.
Riots have continuously erupted on the Temple Mount since last month when thousands of Palestinians stormed the Golden Gate, which had been closed by a court order since 2003. Jerusalem police arrested two senior Wakf officials – east Jerusalem Wakf chairman Sheikh Abdel Azim Salhab and deputy director of the Wakf Sheikh Najeh Bkeirat – banning them from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound for 40 days.
In response, the Muslims took over and converted a 1,500-year-old structure located near the Golden Gate (known as Sha’ar Harachamim to Jews) into a mosque. Currently, the Muslims have four other mosques on the mount, said Fried. Jews, on the other hand, “if you try to pray, you will be arrested.”