(JNS.org) Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon signed a declaration that outlaws two Islamic organizations who have routinely harassed Jewish visitors at the Temple Mount holy site.
The “Mourabitoun” and “Mourabitat” organizations “engage in inciteful and dangerous activity against tourists, visitors, and worshippers at the site, which leads to violence and is liable to injure human life,” the Israeli Defense Ministry said in a media advisory.
“The aforesaid organizations strive to undermine Israeli sovereignty on the Temple Mount, change the existing reality and arrangements at the site, and infringe on freedom of worship. They are linked to—and frequently guided by—hostile Islamic organizations,” said the ministry.
Israel took control of the eastern half of Jerusalem, including the Old City of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, from Jordan during the Six-Day War. Since then, the Temple Mount has been administered by the Jordanian-run Islamic Waqf, with security provided by Israeli police. The Waqf limits Jewish access to the Temple Mount to certain days and times of the week and bans any Jewish prayer on the site.
Over the past year, tensions have grown over the Temple Mount, with many Jewish activists calling for changes to allow them greater access there. But Israel’s leadership has been resistant to changing the status quo out of fear that such a move could ignite further Palestinian violence.
“The State of Israel allows freedom of worship to all its citizens, tourists, and visitors regardless of their religion and holds this to be an important and essential basic value,” Ya’alon said.