A Likud lawmaker is proposing a plan to divide Jerusalem’s Temple Mount between Muslims and Jews and to remove Jordan’s custodial status over the holy site.
Speaking to the Zman Yisrael Hebrew news site, Knesset member Amit Halevi outlined a plan whereby Muslims would control the southern end of the 37-acre complex which contains the Al-Aqsa mosque, while Jews would receive the central and northern area, where the Dome of the Rock sits.
According to Halevi, the reorganization makes sense from a religious point of view because that part of the Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism, where it is believed the First and Second Temples stood. The Foundation Stone at the center of the Dome of the Rock is where Jewish sources place the Holy of Holies.
“This is the place of the First Temple and the place of the Second Temple built by Babylonian immigrants. No one needs to examine the stones to know that it is ours,” he said.
Halevi also wants to end Israel’s agreement with the Jordanian Waqf whereby the Islamic trust controls and manages Islamic edifices on the Temple Mount.
“Why not give them status in the Dizengoff Center [a large shopping mall in Tel Aviv] as well? This is a terrible mistake. This status should be abolished. I know it’s an agreement between countries, but we have to deal with it. It requires change, even if the process will take time,” he said.
In addition, Halevi wants to give Jews the same access to the Temple Mount enjoyed by Muslims. Currently, the Waqf only allows Jews and non-Muslim tourists access to the Temple Mount via the Maghrebi Gate and only at certain hours when the gate is open.
“We will take the northern end and pray there. The entire mountain is sacred to us, and the Dome of the Rock is the place on which the Temple stood. This should be our guideline,” he said. “Israel is leading. It will be a historical, religious and national statement. If this does not happen then you are not actually the owner of the house. You are a klutz. Why are you even going in there?”