Likud Knesset Member Miri Regev announced Wednesday she will visit the Temple Mount to try to understand the problem with Jews praying at the holy site. The Jerusalem Islamic Waqf officially controls the Temple Mount, a power granted to it by the Israeli government shortly after the Six-Day War in 1967.
MK Regev, who chairs the Knesset Interior and Environment Committee in the new government, said, “I don’t understand why a Jew is not allowed to pray in his most sacred place.”
After MK Regev’s announcement, Meretz MK Michal Rozin said the idea of a Knesset Member ascending the holy site is “a perverse attempt and cynical use of religion and political measures.”
She said that an appearance by Regev at the Temple Mount with the intention of clearing the way for Jews to pray there would incite Muslims.
The Waqf forbids Jews from praying on the Temple Mount or even carrying with them a prayer book, religious articles or acting as if they are praying.
The Chief Rabbinate has ruled that Jews are not allowed to ascend the Temple Mount because it still is holy despite the destruction of the First and Second Temples and that no rituals can be performed because it is impossible to be ritually pure today according to guidelines set out in the Torah.
Many national religious rabbis permit ascending to certain areas of the Temple Mount.