Photo Credit: Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90
Ra'am party Chairman MK Mansour Abbas, October 4, 2021.

MK Mansour Abbas, of the Islamist Ra’am Party, is facing heavy criticism from his Arab colleagues after requesting permission from Israeli authorities before his visit to the Temple Mount. The Temple Mount is the Jewish people’s holiest site.

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For security reasons and due to the sensitivity of the site, the protocol requires an MK to receive permission from the Israel Police and the Knesset Officer before visiting the Temple Mount, as such a visit may generate a diplomatic or security incident. However, such a request can be construed as recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the holy site, and most Arab MKs refrain from requesting such permission.

Abbas visited the Temple Mount on Sunday after receiving the required permits.

Abbas denied that he coordinated his visit but Walla! News obtained the written documents from the Knesset and police confirming that Abbas did file the request.

In response, the Joint List, an Arab-majority list and a rival of Ra’am, issued an announcement in Arabic against Abbas, saying that his visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque “in coordination with the occupation police constitutes a dangerous precedent and recognition of Israel’s sovereignty.”

The majority of Israel’s non-Zionist and Arab MKs do not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over eastern Jerusalem.

 

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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.