Arab Members of Knesset (MK’s) from The Joint Arab List sent a letter declaring their intention to violate Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ban preventing MK’s from visiting the Temple Mount.
On Wednesday, Joint List MK Masud Gnaim, wrote a letter to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, Prime Minister Netanyahu, and police commissioner Roni Alsheikh, on behalf of himself and MKs Abdel- Hakim Haj Yahya and Taleb Abu Arar. In the letter, they stated that their intentions.
“On behalf of Knesset members from the Islamic Movement (Ra’am), we announce our intention to enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque during the month of Ramadan and pray there,” the letter stated.
“Fulfilling this religious commandment is a basic right and part of our lifestyle as Muslims and religious people,” the letter continued.
On Thursday, MK Yehudah Glick (Likud) said he would file a complaint against the Arab MK’s with the Knesset Ethics Committee over their declaration that they intend to ignore the directive.
Last October, Netanyahu declared ban on Jewish MK’s from visiting the Temple Mount as a measure intended to quiet the Islamic violence at the Jewish holy site. This move was technically complicated as the prime minister does not have this authority over the MK’s. In order to enact this ban, Netnayahu ordered police to physically prevent MK’s from entering the Temple Mount compound.
Jewish MK’s protested, saying the ban was discriminatory. Netanyahu responded by amending the ban to include all MK’s. A few weeks after the ban was put into effect, Joint Arab List MK Basel Ghattas, a Christian Arab, ascended the mount with impunity.
Earlier this week, Yehuda Glick was reprimanded by Netanyahu for ascending to the Temple Mount before he was sworn in as the new Likud MK. Since he was still a citizen and not an MK, the band technically did not yet apply to him. Glick had coordinated the visit with Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan. Glick said that he intends to honor the ban now that he is an MK.
Last month, MK Jamal Zahalka of the Joint Arab List called for a continuation of the “Intifada” to prevent Jews “at all costs” and “by any means” from visiting the Temple Mount.
“The third intifada was born due to these ascents (to the Temple Mount),” Zahalka said to the Palestinian Al-Watan news site. A video filmed in September showed Zahalka and MK Taleb Abu Arar near the Temple Mountyelling at Israeli police to leave the area while MK Ahmad Tibi is seen hitting a policeman. Hitting a policeman is a punishable crime, though no charges were made and no action was taken.
Source: Israel in the News