ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 143

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Police chief, Ben Gvir clash on banning Jewish visits to Temple Mount on last days of Ramadan

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir (R) and Israel Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai attend the inauguration of new police station in southern Israel, March 14, 2023. (Flash90)
National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir (R) and Israel Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai attend the inauguration of new police station in southern Israel, March 14, 2023. (Flash90)

Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai and National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir are clashing over a potential ban for Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem during the final days of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.

According to Channel 12 news, police chief Kobi Shabtai supports preventing Jewish visits to the Mount from Wednesday through the last 10 days of Ramadan, as has been standard practice in the past to prevent friction with Muslim worshipers.

Ben Gvir, a far-right advocate of Jewish rights on the Mount, says he opposes the move, asserting that it “will be a surrender to terrorism.”

Tomorrow is expected to be particularly sensitive in Jerusalem, where thousands of Jewish worshipers are expected to take part in the traditional priestly blessing at the Western Wall as part of the Passover holiday.

Jerusalem District Police Commander Doron Turgeman said in an assessment earlier today the Hamas terror group is “threatening the priestly blessing with the claim that Jews are going ‘to assail the Western Wall’ while claiming Al-Aqsa is in danger.”

Turgeman says police will act to “allow freedom of worship and enable Muslims to pray [at Al-Aqsa]… The ones harming worship are Hamas and other inciting elements.”

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