Nissan 17, 5774, 17/04/14
Min. Yisrael Katz points to Hamas parades and flags on Temple Mount, calls for change of policy.
by Iddo Ben Porat
Minister of Transport Yisrael Katz (Likud-Beytenu) called on his own government to allow Jews to freely ascend to the Temple Mount, and denounced the Muslim rioting on the Mount.
"All red lines have been crossed at the Temple Mount,” Katz stated Thursday, and added that Hamas has taken over the Mount, “carried out military parades and planted its flags on the mosques. The entry of Jews to the site, meanwhile, was barred again.”
The Israeli policy is not a liberal one, he argued, and does not promote freedom of religion. Rather, it constitutes a surrender to Palestinian terrorism and incitement.
"It is the right of religious and non-religious Jews to visit the Temple Mount,” Katz added. “I am aware of the sensitivities and the various considerations, but what would we say if somewhere in the world, the entry of Jews would be forbidden? We must change our policy,” Katz stressed.
Thousands of police and IDF troops will be on duty Thursday, as tens of thousands of Jews arrive at the Kotel (Western Wall) for the Birkat Cohanim (Blessing of the Cohanim) ceremony, a special feature of the Jewish festivals. Troops will be on special alert following the unrest on the Temple Mount Wednesday.