Mk Yehuda Glick (Likud) on Tuesday morning petitioned the Supreme Court against his own party’s chairman, PM Benjamin Netanyahu, arguing that the latter did not have the authority to prevent MKs and government ministers from visiting the Temple Mount.
Glick’s petition says police did not have the legal foundation to follow Netanyahu’s “inherently illegal” order, suggesting that “only political considerations are the basis for the ban.”
Glick accuses the prime minister of violating the MKs’ and ministers’ freedom of religion and of movement, as well as the legal immunity of members of the Knesset.
On Monday night, Netanyahu attempted to subvert the pending petition by announcing that he plans to remove the ban in about three months, after the holidays of Passover, Independence Day, and Shavu’ot. But Glick was not impressed.
“Over the past ten months I’ve labored in every conceivable way to revoke the order barring MKs from the Temple Mount,” he wrote on his Facebook page Monday night. “I met with the AG, the Knesset legal council, and others in the prime minister’s circle. The police and the Minister of Internal Security have long since removed their objection to MKs’ ascending the Temple Mount.”
Netanyahu’s order banning MKs from the Temple Mount was issued during the early days of the recent wave of terror, in the fall of 2015, when Arab MKs went up to the mountaintop to incite Muslim rioters, telling them Israel was planning to destroy the Al Aqsa mosque. The ban made Netanyahu’s relationship with the Jordanian Waqf easier, as it also barred religious Jewish MKs, from Likud and Habayit Hayehudi, from stirring controversy. Then, in April 2016, Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich extended the ban, saying that permitting MKs and government ministers entry to the site would “endanger state security.”