The Temple Mount will be closed to Jewish visitors starting Tuesday, May 4, according to a WhatsApp message received from police officers Monday night by Tom Nissani, CEO of the Temple Mount Heritage Foundation.
There was no explanation for the closure, which police said would end on Jerusalem Day – celebrating the reunification of Jerusalem — which begins on the evening of Sunday May 9 and continues until nightfall on Monday, May 11.
“Hours before the Israel Police announced the closure . . . Jordan sent an official protest letter to the State of Israel demanding that the Temple Mount be closed to Jews due to the end of Ramadan,” Nissani said. “Israel, it seems, obeyed fairly quickly,” he added.
The Ramadan month-long period of daily fasting – which is intended to remind Muslims of the suffering of those less fortunate and bring believers closer to Allah (God) – ends with the start of the three-day Islamic holiday of Eid al-Fitr (Festival of Breaking the Fast) on Wednesday, May 12.
Israel may not have been quite as obedient as Nissani fears, however. Jews will be streaming up to the Temple Mount to mark Jerusalem Day at least 48 hours before the end of Ramadan.
The Temple Mount Heritage Foundation will mark the day with organized ascents led by instructors. To register for the organized ascents, click here.
The organization is also conducting a study course on the issues of the Temple Mount. This Thursday (May 7) Shlomo Goren will lecture on the archaeology of the Temple Mount. For further information about the course and Goren’s lecture, click here.