A senior official in the Jordanian Waqf Islamic Authority has called for the fortification of the Temple Mount in advance of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which is set to begin later this week.
Najah Kirat, deputy head of the Waqf, warned in an article posted on Palestinian Authority social media and news media that “things will get worse” this year.
“The most effective tool for resisting the occupation is fortifying the Temple Mount compound,” Kirat wrote.
“This year we will burn the area as a result of the daily attacks by Jews against Arab worshipers at Al Aqsa Mosque.”
The Waqf, Palestinian Authority, Jordanian government and many other Arab government persistently claim that Jews are “storming” or “attacking” the mosque during visits to the site.
The head of the “B’Yadenu” Temple Mount heritage organization, Tom Nisani, commented in response to the post that this year, “the Jordanian Waqf itself is leading the activities against Israel during Ramadan on the Temple Mount.
“It is expected the law enforcement system led by National Security Minister [Itamar] Ben Gvir to see the Waqf as an enemy and to prevent any move to fortify the Temple Mount in order to harm police and Jews who ascend to the site.”
Last month Israel’s KAN News public broadcaster reported that the Israeli government would bar Jewish visitors from entering the Temple Mount compound during the final 10 days of Ramadan, a practice that has been carried out in previous years.
However, the final days of Ramadan coincide with the week-long Jewish holiday of Passover, one of the three festivals in which Jews were commanded to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, the site of today’s Temple Mount. Many Jews continue to visit the Temple Mount to mark the festivals.
It’s not yet clear how the government plans to resolve the issue.
The IDF Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) meanwhile announced a series of concessions to citizens of the Palestinian Authority this week that are to be carried out during Ramadan.
Entry to the site, which is sacred to both Jews and Muslims, is to be permitted freely for men over age 55 and children up to age 12, as well as for women of all ages.
Family visits to Israel were approved for Palestinian Authority residents, as were visits by residents of foreign countries to relatives in the PA.
A limited number of Gaza residents – women ages 50 and up, and men ages 55 and up — will also be allowed to visit Jerusalem to pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque from Sunday to Thursday.
During the month of Ramadan, the operating hours will be extended at Palestinian Authority crossings, and PA citizens will be able to order tickets for dedicated flights abroad via Israel’s Ramon Airport, near Eilat.