MK Feiglin Visits Temple Mount, Despite Netanyahu's Call for Restraint

Prime minister urged lawmakers not to fuel tensions, following pressure from U.S. and Jordan.

Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson
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MK Moshe Feiglin near the Temple Mount compound. November 2, 2014.
MK Moshe Feiglin near the Temple Mount compound. November 2, 2014.Credit: AFP
Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson

Deputy Knesset Speaker and right-wing Likud MK Moshe Feiglin visited the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Sunday, despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's call to lawmakers to show restraint.

Feiglin's visit passed without incident. Five Jews were detained for questioning at the site, but there were no clashes.

Netanyahu called on Knesset members Saturday to ease tensions after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry asked him to help lower the temperature in all Jerusalem. The Jordanians have made similar requests.

Tensions rose over the weekend after the shooting of a right-wing activistand the police's killing of the Palestinian man suspected of the crime. After the assassination attempt, Israel closed the Temple Mount to all visitors and worshippers on Thursday, before reopening it.

In a statement Saturday, Netanyahu urged MKs to show “responsibility and restraint” vis-à-vis the Temple Mount, holy to both Jews and Muslims.

On Saturday evening, the prime minister asked Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein to work with MKs to resolve the issue. Netanyahu’s call came after Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel harshly criticized Jordan’s rulers on his Facebook page.

Ariel was responding to a Jordanian government spokesman who said Israel’s actions in East Jerusalem and attempts to change the status quo on the Temple Mount put the Jordan-Israel peace agreement at risk. The 20th anniversary of the treaty was marked just a few days ago.

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