In First Since 1967: Israelis Enter Temple Mount through Gate of the Tribes

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Jewish worshippers at the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem at the new Jewish month of Elul, the twelfth month of the Jewish civil year. Jerusalem, Aug 28, 2022. Photo by Maayan Berrebi/TPS
By Aryeh Savir/TPS • 29 August, 2022

Jerusalem, 29 August, 2022 (TPS) — A group of Jewish worshipers entreated the Temple Mount on Sunday through the Gate of the Tribes in the northern part of the Mount, the first such occurrence since 1967, when liberating IDF paratroopers entered the holy site during the Six Day War.

The group entered through the Gate of the Tribes and was escorted by a Temple Mount police officer, and some left the Temple Mount through the same gate.

Tom Nisani, CEO of Beyadenu for the Temple Mount said that the “Jewish entry through the Gate of the Tribes shows that there is no justification for the threats and claims that if we exercise our sovereignty and basic freedoms on the Mount, terrible things will happen.”

“This morning, Jews entered through the Gate of the Tribes smoothly and without any problems. This precedent should be first implemented on special occasions when many Jews ascend the Mount through the Hallel [Mugrabim] Gate, which cannot facilitate all of them. It is a positive development,” he said.

Jews are usually allowed to enter the Temple Mount only through the Mugrabim (Moroccan) Gate, which is right next to the Kotel, Western Wall. The rest of the nine gates around the Temple Mount are reserved for Muslims.

The Gate of the Tribes, Bab al-Asbat in Arabic which is the name for the 12 tribes of Israel, is located in the northeast corner of the Temple Mount. The gate is located near the Lions’ Gate, which was also formerly called the Gate of the Tribes. The gate is nearby the “Pool of Israel” and the “Tower of the Children of Israel,” both names preserved by the Muslims.

The Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Jerusalem Affairs said that it “views with grave concern” the development.

“The Israeli occupation persists in its dangerous attempts to change the religious, historical, and legal status quo of the mosque,” the ministry alleged, saying the Jews visiting the Temple Mount is a “direct provocations of the feelings of all Muslims around the world.”

The PA called on the Arab and Islamic countries and the international community to “uphold their responsibilities and stop the Israeli violations which are becoming more dangerous at al-Aqsa mosque and portend dire consequences.”

Sheikh Omar Kiswani, the director of the Temple Mount mosques, described the incident as “a serious step that violates the status quo at the holy site and the agreements signed between Israel and Jordan concerning the affairs of the mosque.”

It appears that Sunday’s special entry was not a new permanent arrangement.

Jews’ visits to the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site, are limited in time, and space, as well as the number of visitors allowed access at any given time. While Jews’ rights to worship at the site have improved in recent years, much remains wanting, and the full freedom of worship has yet to be granted by the State of Israel to Jews visiting the Temple Mount.

While Muslims enter the holy site freely, Jews are screened by metal detectors, undergo security searches, and are banned from bringing Jewish religious objects to the site.

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