17 January 2023

Jewish settler visits to Masjid al-Aqsa reportedly hit a modern record in 2022, with 51,483 incursions to the holy site last year, this according to Beyadenu, a Jerusalem-based organization which seeks to advance Jewish control over Al-Aqsa.

The previous highest number was 34,651 in 2021.

The surge was attributed to visits from 30 military academies, three schools, as well as brides and grooms marking their wedding day and children celebrating their bar or bat mitzvah, or coming of age. In September, the number of Jews trespassing Al-Aqsa crossed the 50,000 threshold for the first time in modern history.

Michael Miller, a spokesman for Beyadenu told the Tazpit Press Service that the numbers are “phenomenal and outstanding,” but added, “we need to do more.”

For example, he said, “We’re working on getting the ‘Temple Mount’ included in the Israeli educational system and in the Ministry of Education’s curriculum for all schools.”

Miller added that social media has made the visits “more mainstream,” as Jewish trespassers post photos, videos and comments about their experiences breaking in to Al-Aqsa.

“The police do an amazing job of keeping the order and peace up there. It’s not an easy job,” Miller stressed. “But when they try to stop a Jew from praying, bowing, waving an Israeli flag or doing something they consider provocative, then we film them and try to hold them accountable for their illegal actions.”

Said Miller, “When the ‘Temple Mount’ is portrayed as a place of violence, terror and chaos, that can deter Jews from visiting. I also want to make clear that not all the Arabs on the ‘Temple Mount’ are involved in violence and harassment. I don’t have a problem with Arabs praying there. It’s the ones who cause trouble I have an issue with. We’re fighting for Jews, Christians and people of all faiths to be able to visit and freely pray without fear or harassment.”

ADAPTED FROM: Israel Today