As security questions how Arab terrorists entered the Temple Mount with deadly weapons, lawmakers and activists are demanding a review of the status quo.
Following the shooting attack Friday morning on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount that claimed the lives of two Druze policemen, police are investigating the situation, questioning how the terrorists managed to bypass security and bring their deadly weapons to the site.
Three Arab Israelis from the Haifa District opened fire on policemen guarding the compound. The murdered victims were identified as 22-year-old Kamil Shnaan from the Druze village of Hurfeish and Haiel Satawa, 30, from the Druze village of Majar.
Commenting on the situation on Facebook, Linda Olmert, deputy director of Haliba Movement for Jewish Civil Rights on the Temple Mount, mentioned the fact that there are 10 entrance gates to the Mount for Muslims as opposed to only one for non-Muslims.
‘No Security Whatsoever’
At all 10 gates open to Muslims only, there is “no security check whatsoever, only a cursory glance to ensure that no non-Muslim attempts to sneak in,” said Olmert, who at times has visited the site several times a week. On an average day, she says, there is no lineup for the Muslims wishing to enter, while all others are forced to undergo extremely long waits.
Furthermore, at the gate for the non-Muslims, anybody who looks like a religious Jew is scrutinized and checked down to the last detail.
Responding to Friday morning’s attack, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held an emergency security briefing, where it was decided to close the Mount. On a regular Friday, the Mount is open to Muslims only for prayers.
‘Terror Cannot Go Unanswered’
Jewish Home lawmaker Shuli Mualem-Rafaeli and Likud Knesset Member Yehuda Glick, who head the Knesset’s Lobby for Strengthening the Jewish Connection to the Temple Mount, issued a statement after the attack on Friday, saying, “The terror being perpetrated with the support of the Palestinian Authority and the Islamic Movement, with aim of undermining Jewish ties to the Temple Mount, cannot go unanswered.
“Radical Muslims who desecrate the Temple Mount, the holiest place to the Jewish people, with their blood do not have a right to be there. Jerusalem Police Commander Yoram Halevy was therefore right to order the Mount closed and not to allow Muslims to hold Friday prayers there,” the statement concluded.
Culture Minister Miri Regev said the deadly attack demanded a review of the status quo on the Temple Mount.
“The time has come for the Temple Mount to be a place that is open and free for all, without restrictions on [visiting] hours or areas, just like everywhere else in Jerusalem. The Waqf should only manage the mosque and not the entire compound,” she said, noting that as the city was under Israel’s sovereignty, the responsibility for the holy site falls to the Israeli government.