Ra’am Chairman Mansour Abbas said in a meeting with Foreign Minister Yair Lapid last Wednesday that Israel must reach an agreement with Jordan on how to “correct the status quo in al-Aqsa,” Reshet Bet radio reported on Sunday morning.
It should be noted that the head of the Islamist party in the coalition was not referring to the al-Aqsa mosque but to the entire compound which Jews call the Temple Mount. Since the start of the Muslim conquest of the Land of Israel in 630 CE, the Arabs referred to the sacred mountaintop as Beit al-Maukadas, the Arabic version of the Hebrew Beit Hamikdash. Only in the past two decades, when Jews began to insist on their right to visit the Temple Mount in ever-growing groups, did the Arab bon ton become al-Aqsa.
Abbas also told Lapid, referring to the Jordanians, that “their demands are our demands.”
Three days ago, Mk Abbas met with King Abdullah II of Jordan, and the two discussed the conditions for restoring the status quo to where it had been. Among the demands that Jordan will present, with the support of Ra’am, is granting permits to more Waqf guards to enter the mosque site. Currently, the person conducting the talks on this matter on behalf of the government is the foreign minister.
Last Friday, we reported that Israel had refused Jordan’s demand to be given a bigger role in controlling the Temple Mount, pressing Israel to return to the status quo before the year 2000, when the then-candidate for prime minister Ariel Sharon ascended to the mountaintop and declared it accessible to every Jew (Riots on Last Ramadan Friday as Israel Refuses Jordan’s Bid to Take Over Temple Mount).
According to Reshet Bet, Yamina MKs would prefer that the coalition government would collapse because it was ditched by Ra’am because then Bennett and not Lapid would be the premier at the helm of the caretaker government until the new elections.