07/16/2017

“Today the public that reaches the gates that are intended for Muslims to enter the Temple Mount will find that they are closed,” explained Minister Erdan. “The ability to reinforce and operate a magnetometer test, even if it is a manual test, will only be in some gates, and the goal is to place magnetic gates at all entrances to the mountain.”

Ardan also referred to the plans presented in the past for putting cameras on the mount and the Jordanian resistance to this. “You have to remember that any action that changes the situation on the mountain is an action that requires approval and a decision by the political echelon, because it is usually coordinated with Jordan and other elements in the international arena,” Ardan said. “In the wave of terrorism of September 2015, I instructed the police to prepare such a plan, but there was never a decision to implement the plan.”

"The plan was not accepted," Erdan said    

“The plan is not accepted,” ArdenPhoto: Flash 90, Muammar Awad

The minister explained the complexities involved in making security decisions regarding the Temple Mount. “On Fridays and during Ramadan, tens of thousands and sometimes over 100,000 people enter in a few hours,” he explained. “There was also a question of checking women entering the mountain, and the project posed many dilemmas both to the operational and political levels.”

Ardan argued during the interview that Israel is entitled to implement the decisions it made on the Temple Mount issue and should not consider Jordanians. “A decision is a decision,” the minister said. “Israel is the sovereign on the mountain, no matter what the positions of other countries are, and if we decide that a certain move has a certain advantage, then it is carried out.”

After Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with senior security officials yesterday, it was decided to open the Temple Mount compound gradually for worshipers, visitors and tourists. The decision comes after the entrance to the holy compound was closed for the first time since 1967.

Police forces at the scene of the attack on the Temple Mount    

According to the decision, from this day on, the entrance to the compound will be allowed only from a limited number of gates, in order to allow more stringent inspection of those entering. At the same time, the detention of the three Waqf members arrested on suspicion of involvement in the attack was extended.

In a phone conversation held yesterday with the participation of Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan, ISA Director Nadav Argaman, Police Commissioner Roni Alshich and Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy, it was also decided to set up electronic check gates at the entrance to the Temple Mount compound, Which will cover what is happening on the compound – a decision that in the past was strongly criticized by the Jordanians.

 In addition, the senior political echelon intends to postpone until a new announcement the resumption of MKs’ visits to the Temple Mount, a decision recently made by the prime minister to renew visits by Jewish and Arab MKs on the Mount in a week’s time. However, following the attack, it is not clear when the visits will resume.

King Abdullah of Jordan spoke with Prime Minister Netanyahu in a telephone conversation about the closure of the Temple Mount compound. In the conversation, Abdullah condemned the attack and terrorism, especially in the holy places. In addition, he called for no one to undermine security and stability with more violent and extremist acts. At the same time, the Jordanian king demanded that Netanyahu immediately open the Temple Mount for the entrance of worshipers.

mako