Minister Seeks to Outlaw Two Islamic Groups Active on Temple Mount

Public security chief Gilad Erdan says the organizations want to use violence to keep Jews off the site.

Nir Hasson
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A Palestinian man walks next to the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount.Credit: Reuters
Nir Hasson

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan is taking steps to outlaw two organizations of the Islamic Movement that strive to keep Jews off the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

The move comes at the behest of a group that encourages Jews to pray on the Mount, which is controlled by Islamic authorities.

After the Shin Bet security service and the State Prosecutor’s Office both published opinions supporting a ban on the groups, Erdan asked Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon to publish an order declaring them illegal. This would be in keeping with Ya’alon’s powers to enact emergency regulations.

According to Erdan, Islamic groups seek to use violence and intimidation to keep Jews off the Mount. “I will do all I can to stop their activities, which disrupt the balance on the Temple Mount,” Erdan said.

The two groups, Morabitun for men and Morabitat for women, were established by the northern branch of the Islamic Movement. The organizations provide daily buses from Arab communities in central Israel, the Galilee and the Negev to the Mount.

Minister Gilad Erdan. Credit: Michal Fattal

On most days, a few dozen men and women show up and are joined by residents of East Jerusalem. Members of the groups spend most of the day praying or listening to sermons, but when they see Jews coming up to the Mount, they shout and curse. Their actions sometimes lead to violence.

“We see violence, pushing, shouting and the throwing of objects by the Murabitun,” Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick said. “This is a demand we have been making for a long time. We still want to see it implemented.”