Hours after paying a controversial visit to the flashpoint Temple Mount, National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir dodges questions about whether he will work to change the status quo and allow Jewish prayer at the holy site.
“Don’t put words in my mouth,” he says during an interview on Channel 12 news when asked if he plans to change the current ban on Jewish prayer. “I’ll fight against racism [on the Temple Mount]… Jewish prayer does take place on Temple Mount. [Naftali] Bennett permitted it. [Yair] Lapid permitted it. Omer Barlev permitted it. That’s not the story. The story on Temple Mount is the racism. That Jews can’t go up. That Jews are treated as though they’re impure. That Jews are not allowed to drink from the water tap.”
Asked repeatedly on any potential plans to allow prayer at the site, Ben Gvir says: “You know that I give clear answers. If I don’t want to answer, I don’t answer.”
Ben Gvir also confirms that he received a green light to visit the Temple Mount from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.