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Report: Waqf wants to ban ‘extremist’ Jews from Temple Mount

Channel 10 says Islamic trust for the site writes to Israel Police on matter; Jerusalem police chief unaware of request

Palestinian women argue with Israeli policemen during a protest against Jewish groups visiting the Temple Mount, which houses Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, on September 16, 2015. (AFP/Menahem Kahana)
Palestinian women argue with Israeli policemen during a protest against Jewish groups visiting the Temple Mount, which houses Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, on September 16, 2015. (AFP/Menahem Kahana)

The Islamic trust that manages the Muslim areas on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem has asked the Israel Police to grant it permission to deny admission to certain “extremist” Jews, Channel 10 reported on Monday.

In a rare letter to the Israel Police, an unnamed member of the Waqf, who claims to be representing Amman’s position on the matter, demanded that the trust be allowed to bar certain Jewish visitors from the site.

The 37-acre (15-hectare) compound in Jerusalem’s Old City, known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, is a frequent flash point and its fate is one of the core issues at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is the holiest site in Judaism, as the home to the two biblical temples. Muslims believe it is the spot where the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven; it is the third-holiest site in Islam and houses Al-Aqsa Mosque and the gold-topped Dome of the Rock.

The television report said that in the letter, the Waqf maintained that Muslims view the entire Temple Mount compound as their own, not just the mosque and the Dome of the Rock, and were therefore seeking to administer all entry to the compound as a whole.

Jerusalem Police chief Moshe Edri told Channel 10 he was not aware of the letter.

Israel and Jordan agreed last month to install cameras on the Temple Mount to monitor activities by Jewish and Muslim visitors to the holy site in a bid to calm tensions that have driven the recent escalation in Palestinian attacks on Israeli civilians and soldiers.

As per the 1994 peace treaty between Israel and Jordan, Amman acts as the custodian of the Muslim shrines on the Temple Mount.

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