Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan says the Palestinian Authority is making its influence felt on the Temple Mount, and bears some responsibility for Tuesday’s firebomb attack on the Israel Police station within the compound itself.
Erdan said in an interview Wednesday morning on Galei Tzahal Army Radio’s “Ma Bo’er” program, “The Waqf reveals weakness, and weakness in managing the site. And in that failure it allows the masses to do whatever they want.”
To listen to the entire interview with Minister Erdan, (in Hebrew) click here.
But he also noted that in recent weeks Jordan expanded the Islamic Waqf council membership by nearly 50 percent to include officials from the Palestinian Authority and the PLO, among others, and said the Palestinian Authority is clearly trying to broaden its influence on the Temple Mount.
The site is located within the Old City of Jerusalem – the territory coveted by the PA for the capital of its hoped-for future independent state.
Palestinian Authority leader “Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas -ed.) never has any problem to broadcast lies or incite the masses against the legitimate presence of the State of Israel on the Temple Mount,” Erdan said. “But the police did what they had to do immediately.”
Israel Police entered and closed down the site, clearing the compound of all visitors and Muslim worshipers in order to search for other weapons and complete its investigation as well as carry out immediate repairs to the damage at the police station at the site.
“We will do whatever is required to maintain our sovereignty on the Temple Mount, and not that of terrorist organizations who operated there, like the Morabitoun and Moraabita and the Northern Islamic Movement, who were outlawed because they harassed and attacked Jewish visitors to the site, and who since have multiplied b y 350 percent in recent years.
“We will preserve the rule of law there, and the status quo,” Erdan vowed. “Israel’s sovereignty there is legitimate and we will maintain law and order there against anyone who tries to disturb it.”