03 May 2018

Temple organizations, seeking the destruction of Muslim structures at Masjid al-Aqsa and the establishment of a Temple upon it, expect that the upcoming Jerusalem Day, as it is called by Israel – May 13, will see a record rise in the number of Jewish visits to the holy site.

In 1967, when Israel occupied the city, Israeli General Mordechai Gur made the declaration, “Har Ha’Bayit B’Yadeinu” (The Temple Mount is in our hands). The Israelis however failed to maintain total control of the site as then Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, handed over the keys back to the Islamic Waqf. Israel nonetheless stationed guards at the Masjid entrances and took full control of the Buraq Wall, demolishing the Magharibah quarter in its vicinity.

The Headquarters of the Temple Mount Organization believe that the presence of 2000 Jews on the upcoming ‘Jerusalem Day’ will go a long way to making full Zionist control over the Masjid a reality.

According to the Headquarters of Temple Organizations, the past year—the 51st year since the Occupation of Masjid al-Aqsa in 1967, has already seen a record in Jews making visits to al-Aqsa.

“With the dramatic increase in the number of Jewish visitors, the police has begun to change its attitude toward the Jews on the Temple Mount[Masjid al-Aqsa],” the group said in a recent statement to its members, noting that “the long waits at the entrance to the Mount have disappeared and the restrictions on the size of the Jewish groups hardly exist anymore.”

“Even the outrageous directive against prayer on the Mount is no longer enforced against those who pray non-demonstratively,” the group stated.

“Jerusalem is always at the top of our joy, and the top of the top is the Temple Mount[Masjid al-Aqsa],” the statement said. “The Temple Mount[Masjid al-Aqsa] is on the news agenda, as befits the heart of the world. Jews ascend every day to the Temple Mount in holiness and purity. Even the vocal opponents of the Temple help bring the return to the Temple to the top of the national agenda.”

As to numbers, according to the statement, “last Passover, about 2600 Jews ascended to the Temple Mount[Masjid al-Aqsa], Almost double their number the previous year. They joined the hundreds of rabbis and tens of thousands of rank and file individuals who are ascending to the Temple Mount in keeping with halacha throughout the year.”

The headquarters of the Temple organizations and the Temple Mount Yeshiva say that they intend to push those numbers further up on Jerusalem Day. Last year on the celebrated day, following a campaign that involved rabbis and celebrities, more than a thousand Jews arrived at Masjid al-Aqsa. This year, the headquarters say, “we aim to double the number of Jews, and bring 2000 Jews to the Temple Mount[Masjid al-Aqsa] in holiness and purity.”

Temple movements activists are agitating for breaking the record through widespread publication of the rabbis’ calls to ascend to Masjid al-Aqsa on ‘Jerusalem Day’, and by subsidizing transportation from yeshivas and population centers for Jews interested in going to al-Aqsa on that day.

Temple Movement leaders have previously outlined that Jewish visits to al-Aqsa are hardly about prayer, but instead to assert Zionist ownership over the Masjid.

As settler visits increase, Muslim Palestinians face regular hurdles to visit the Masjid, including permit requirements, age restrictions, bannings, searches and deportations.

Visiting Masjid al-Aqsa for Muslims has been strongly recommended by the Prophet Muhammed (SAW) and the virtues of praying therein are multiplied manifold.