Joint (Arab) MKs Masoud Gnaim and Taleb Abu Arar attempted last Wednesday to visit the Temple Mount, in violation of an eight-month ban on lawmakers from the holy site, but were stopped by police.
“The Al-Aqsa Mosque is a holy site for Muslims, and it is our natural right as Muslims to enter and pray there,” the two lawmakers say in a statement on Wednesday. “For years we consistently prayed at the mosque and it was never a problem; the arrival of Minister Uri Ariel at the site is a provocation that led to violence.”
The Knesset Ethics Committee on Tuesday upheld the ban on lawmakers from entering the Temple Mount, but said it would adapt its decision in accordance with police recommendations. Police were considering lifting the ban in the first week of July — the last week of Ramadan — for Muslim MKs, and easing restrictions on Jewish lawmakers a week later.