Photo Credit: Yoav Dudkobitz / TPS

Israel’s National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir visited the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Thursday during the priestly blessing to mark the Passover holiday.

The semi-annual ceremony, which also takes place during Sukkot, is known in Hebrew as “Birkat Kohanim.” It is held on the intermediate days of the two Jewish festivals and draws tens of thousands of worshippers to the Western Wall, and increasingly in recent years to the Temple Mount itself.


Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef blessed Ben-Gvir’s son at the Western Wall.

This year, a prayer was to be held for the return of the hostages held by Hamas in Gaza, for the safety of Israel Defense Forces soldiers and security forces and for the peace of the people of Israel.

There was heavy police presence at the entrances to the Old City and Western Wall, due to heightened tensions amid Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza.

The ceremony was led by the chief rabbis of Israel and the rabbi of the Western Wall and the holy sites.


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