Ben-Gvir visits Temple Mount: ‘Israel will not give in to Hamas threats’

January 3, 2023 — The Jerusalem Post reports: “Israel’s new government ‘will not give in to threats from Hamas,’ National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said as he arrived at the Temple Mount on Tuesday morning for his planned pilgrimage to the Jerusalem holy site.

‘The Temple Mount is the most important place for the Jewish people,’ the minister said in a statement made following his visit to the religious site. ‘We [will] maintain freedom of movement for Muslims and Christians,’ Ben-Gvir stressed, adding that ‘Jews will climb the mountain.’

‘Those who make threats will be dealt with an iron fist,’ the minister further warned.

Opposition head and former prime minister Yair Lapid had previously warned that such a visit by Ben-Gvir would spark tensions in Jerusalem and the West Bank, saying that ‘as weak as Bibi is, he must this time stand up and tell [Ben-Gvir] not to visit the Temple Mount, since people will die,’ Lapid said…”  (In Genesis 22:1-14 God commanded Abraham to bring his son Isaac to the land of Moriah and offer him as a sacrifice there.  As he was about to complete the sacrifice, God stopped him and provided a ram as a substitutionary sacrifice.  In I Chronicles 21:18 – 26, King David purchased this mount so he could build an altar to offer a sacrifice when he confessed his sin.  This was the location where the angel of the Lord was commanded to stop the destruction of Jerusalem [I Chronicles 21:15].  In II Chronicles 3:1, King Solomon built the First Temple on Mount Moriah, this was started in 966 BC.  This Temple stood until 586 BC when it was destroyed by the Babylonians.  The Second Temple was built in 516 BC and enlarged by Herod the Great in 12 BC.  It stood until it was destroyed by the Romans in AD 70.  The Dome of the Rock was built in AD 692, and the Al Aqsa Mosque was not built until AD 705.  It is obvious who has the rightful claim to the Temple Mount.  See the next four reports.) 

Israel and Palestinians in holy site war of words

January 6, 2023 — BBC.com reports: “Israeli and Palestinian envoys have traded accusations at a UN meeting over an Israeli minister’s visit to a contested holy site in Jerusalem.

The Palestinian ambassador said Israel displayed ‘absolute contempt’ for the international community, and demanded the UN take action.

His Israeli counterpart accused the Palestinians of mounting ‘a poisonous campaign’ to erase Jewish history.

The minister’s visit on Tuesday was seen by Palestinians as provocative.

It was made by Israel’s new National Security Minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, a far-right political leader known for past anti-Arab statements and once convicted of incitement to racism.

Mr Ben-Gvir’s visit was his first public act since the government, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was sworn in five days earlier.

The hilltop site is the most sacred place in Judaism and the third holiest in Islam. It is known to Jews as the Temple Mount, site of two Biblical temples, and to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif, the site of Muhammad’s ascent to Heaven. The entire compound is considered to be al-Aqsa Mosque by Muslims…”

Palestinians: Changing status quo at Temple Mount a ‘declaration of war’

January 2, 2023 — The Jerusalem Post reports: “The Palestinian Authority on Monday warned that any attempt by Israel to change the status quo at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound (Temple Mount) or ‘annex’ parts of the West Bank would be considered as a declaration of war.

Palestinian officials warned that National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir’s intention to visit the Temple Mount would lead to violence.

PA presidential spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudaineh said that ‘the repeated Israeli threats to change the historical status quo in the al-Aqsa Mosque would have serious consequences for everyone.’

He reiterated the Palestinians’ opposition to allowing Jews to pray at the site.

Abu Rudaineh warned that settlement activities in the West Bank and the ongoing ‘daily killings’ of Palestinians would also have serious repercussions…”

EU diplomats visit Temple Mount, express support for Jordan custodianship

January 18, 2023 — The Jerusalem Post reports: “European Union diplomats who toured the al-Aqsa Mosque compound (Temple Mount) on Wednesday expressed support for the Jordanian custodianship over the holy site, Azzam al-Khatib, Director-General of the Jordanian-controlled Waqf Department in Jerusalem, said.

 ’This was a successful visit,’ Khatib told reporters. ‘We waited for this visit for a long time.’

 He said the European delegation came to the site carrying two messages.

 ’The first message expressed support for His Majesty’s custodianship over the Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, especially the al-Aqsa Mosque,’ Khatib said. ‘The second message expressed support for the Waqf Department, which implements His Majesty’s custodianship over the Islamic sites, especially the al-Aqsa Mosque.’

Khatib voiced deep appreciation for the EU’s support for the Palestinians and the two-state solution…”

Jordanian lawmaker says ‘Jordanians will become suicide bombers for Al-Aqsa’

January 5, 2023 — YnetNews.com reports: “A member of Jordan’s parliament on Wednesday said that Jordanians would become ‘suicide bombers’ for the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem in response to the previous day’s visit to the Temple Mount by National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir.

Using an antisemitic reference to Jews as ‘the sons of monkeys and pigs,’ MP Yanal Abd al-Salam Nour al-Din al-Fraihat said in a speech at Jordan’s national assembly in the capital Amman that ‘the response of the Palestinian and Jordanian people at the moment is only talk, but this is a volcano and soon the response will be with lead bullets.’

Al-Fraihat said that ‘as soon as the Al-Aqsa Mosque is involved, this is a real red line and all Jordanians will become fighters and suicide bombers for Palestine and for Al-Aqsa.’

The lawmaker has previously supported terrorism against Israel and called for Jordan to renew relations with the Gaza-based terrorist group Hamas…”