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Far-right MK Ben Gvir makes Temple Mount visit amid rising tensions

Carrie Keller-Lynn is a political and legal correspondent for The Times of Israel

Far-right MK Itamar Ben Gvir arrives to visit the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City on August 7, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Far-right MK Itamar Ben Gvir arrives to visit the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City on August 7, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Escorted by police, far-right MK and Otzma Yehudit leader Itamar Ben Gvir visits the Temple Mount to mark today’s Tisha B’Av fast that commemorates a number of disasters in Jewish tradition, including the destruction of the Second Temple.

Some Palestinians at the flashpoint site heckle Ben Gvir, yelling “Allah akbar” and “slaughter the Jew” in Arabic, according to footage from the scene.

Ben Gvir, known for making provocative visits to the site, is seen in a video shared by his spokesperson responding “Am Yisrael chai,” or “long live the Jewish people.”

The Temple Mount is known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif or the Al Aqsa complex, and is a flashpoint Jerusalem site holy to both Judaism and Islam.

More than a thousand Jews have entered the Temple Mount this morning, according to Army Radio. According to the status quo, Muslims are allowed to visit and pray at the site, but non-Muslims are only allowed to visit.

Ben Gvir’s visit comes on the tense third day of Operation Breaking Dawn.

The visit comes shortly after the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group fired rockets toward Jerusalem, triggering sirens in nearby communities.

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