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Quick Takes: News From Israel You May Have Missed

Jews are not permitted to pray on the Temple Mount in any way whatsoever, even if they only move their lips or demonstrate other “signs” of prayer on Judaism’s holiest site, ruled Avi Dichter, Israel’s public security minister.

Dichter was responding to a recent decision by two Knesset members who said they would ascend the Temple Mount quietly – without informing the media or making any protest – and attempt to pray on the holy site, stating that Muslim prayer services take place throughout the day in many mosques and Islamic religious schools situated on the holy site, and that Jews should be able to pray as individuals on the Mount.

In a letter to the lawmakers, Dichter, Israel’s highest ranking public security officer, wrote that while police cannot generally arrest a person “conversing with his Maker … however it is possible to carry out an arrest for expressions of outward and demonstrative signs [of prayer on the Temple Mount].”

Dichter’s use of the phrase “conversing with his Maker” mimicked the terminology used by Ariel and Eldad to describe prayer.

Israeli restrictions bar Jewish groups from praying on the Temple Mount and only allow Jews to ascend for certain hours on some days, while the Mount is open to Muslims all year.

According to strict interpretation of a 1973 Israeli law, a Jew as an individual can pray on the Temple Mount as long as the prayer is not uttered as a protest of Jewish rights to the holy site. But Israeli police forbid all Jewish prayer at the site, although there have been a few instances recently in which Jews prayed there without being arrested.

No-Prayer Zone

While Dichter vehemently opposed even the slightest evidence of a Jew praying on the Mount, his security ministry and the Israeli police have not acted to halt the Hamas terror group’s daily broadcast of Islamic prayer services from the Mount’s Al Aksa Mosque.

This column broke the story that Hamas last month starting broadcasting the Mount’s daily Muslim prayers on the group’s official radio station, Al Aksa Radio. The services are broadcast alongside anti-Semitic commentary, including incitement against Jews.

Hamas radio is heard throughout Palestinian cities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

When the story of the Hamas broadcasts from Judaism’s holiest site was first published online by WorldNetDaily and in The Jewish Press, Israeli police officials vowed they would halt the terrorist group’s programming from the Temple Mount. But the broadcasts continued all this week.

National Police Spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld, asked for comment several times, said repeatedly that he would release his department’s official response to the Hamas broadcasts. As of press time he had not done so.

Israeli Arabs Would Choose Israel

Most Israeli Arabs, given the option of living in a future Palestinian state, would prefer to remain citizens of Israel, according to a survey released this week.

Arabs make up about 20 percent of Israel’s population, with a large concentration living in eastern Jerusalem, including peripheral neighborhoods that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s government has stated could be given to the Palestinians for a future state.

The new poll conducted by Keevoon, an Israeli research and strategic communications company, found that the majority of Israeli Arabs – 62 percent – don’t want to live under Palestinian rule.

Only 14 percent of respondents said they would prefer to live in a Palestinian state and not Israel if given the choice, while 24 percent did not express an opinion or refused to answer.

Mitchell Barak, managing director of Keevoon, told WND, “The survey challenges the widely held claim that Israeli Arabs have national aspirations for statehood. Most expressed a desire to remain Israeli when given a choice.”

Barak said the results “also demonstrated a gap between policies articulated by the Israeli government and the citizens it would affect most – Israeli Arabs.”

IDF: No Rockets From West Bank

As Israel seemingly prepares for a possible future withdrawal from the West Bank, Palestinian terrorists claimed they fired a rocket at a Jewish community from the West Bank city of Yabed, near Jenin.

The Al Aksa Martyrs’ Brigades called WND to take credit for attacking the Israeli community of Shaked. Rocket fire from the West Bank is very rare, with nearly all coming from Gaza.

Al Aksa claims the rocket landed just outside Shaked, but an Israeli army official said he was not aware of any rocket attack.

The IDF, however, has several times denied the claim of rockets attacks, only to later release select information that some missiles had in fact been fired from the northern West Bank.

Security sources said Palestinian terrorists are suspected of developing a sizable arsenal of rockets in the northern West Bank, which borders Israel’s major population centers.

Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief for WorldNetDaily.com. He appears throughout the week on leading U.S. radio programs and is the author of the recently published book “Schmoozing with Terrorists.”

About the Author: Aaron Klein is a New York Times bestselling author and senior reporter for WND.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York's 970 AM Radio on Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern. His website is KleinOnline.com.


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