March 4, 2013 Monday 22 Adar 5773
Visit comes at sensitive time of increased Palestinian rioting in the West Bank; Temple Mount closed to visitors after attempted visit; Former PM Sharon's 2000 visit to site said to have sparked 2nd intifada.
Likud-Beytenu MK Moshe Feiglin was denied entry to a mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem that is closed to tourists. Feiglin insisted to enter the mosque by virtue of his standing as an MK. Muslim faithful began to amass at the scene of the argument and the police removed MK Feiglin from the area.
The Temple Mount was closed to visitors as a result of the incident with Feiglin.
Ariel Sharon’s visit to the site in September 2000 prompted large-scale riots that eventually escalated into what became the second Palestinian intifada.
For Jews the Temple Mount is the holiest place on Earth, from where the world was created, the site of the Binding of Isaac and the location of the First and Second Temples.
For Muslims too, al-Haram al-Sharif (noble sanctuary), has become a crucial place of worship and pilgrimage, where there stands a monumental shrine – the Dome of the Rock – and the al-Aqsa Mosque, a site of great importance in Islam.
Feiglin's visit comes at a sensitive time in the West Bank that has seen increased rioting in recent weeks over the treatment of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails and the circumstances of the death of Palestinian prisoner Arafat Jaradat who died in a Megiddo prison on February 23.
Jeremy Sharon contributed to this report.