The number of visits by religious Jews to the Temple Mount has increased by 75% in 2017, compared to 2016, according to the Yera’eh organization, which encourages Jewish ascent to the Temple Mount.
In the past year there have been 25,628 religious Jews’ visits to the Temple Mount, compared with 14,626 last year, 11,001 visits in 2015, 11,754 in 2014, and only 5,658 visits by religious Jews in 2009.
Religious Jews are counted separately from the other visitors, and are not allowed to enter the Temple Mount compound without police escort.
Assaf Fried, spokesman for the Temple Organizations Headquarters, who promote Jewish ascent to the Temple Mount, attributes the increase in visits to the fact that, other than one attack on the Temple Mount in July, 2017, in which two Border Police officers were killed by Israeli Arabs, security in Jerusalem and on the Temple Mount is perceived by the Israeli public as being relatively calm.
“Three years ago when you came to the mountain, you knew you were coming to a battlefield,” Fried said. “You’d know they’d yell you. Today a Jew who goes up to the mountain feels that he is welcome,” Fried said.
Here are the stats issued by Year’eh at the conclusion of the civil year 2017:
Religious Jews were allowed to be on the Temple Mount for 11% of the year, or 1,023 hours out of 8,760.
Religious Jews were allowed to go to the Temple Mount on 63% of the days of 2017, or 232 days out of 365.
86 Jews were arrested or detained on the Temple Mount on suspicion of “Jewish behavior” in 2017. This behavior ranged from saying a blessing on an apple, through closing one’s eyes and whispering, to crying, “Sh’ma Israel,” to bowing and prostrating.