In a little reported event, the 71st Israeli paratrooper battalion gathered on the Temple Mount on December 1, reports Maariv. The gathering was actually a reunion of the same IDF soldiers who liberated the Temple Mount from Jordanian control on June 6, 1967. The soldiers reenacted the iconic mission and even hoisted an Israeli flag on the holy site, an act that has become an arrestable offense of late.

52 years later, the Israeli heroes gathered at the Temple Mount while using outdoor microphones to recall the events of that fateful day in Israel’s history while Muslims looked on. One of the veterans spoke about obtaining the key to the mount from an Arab custodian of the site. The Muslim custodian happily opened the mount, giving him access while telling the Israeli troop with a smile: “I’ve been waiting for you for 19 years”.

The reunited batallion then posed for a photo op together while hoisting the Israeli flag, an act that they did for the first time in 52 years.

Israeli troops Guarding the Dome of the Rock: the site of the Holy of Holies

In the 1967 Six Day War, Rabbi Yisrael Ariel was one of the the paratroopers, led by Gen. Motta Gur, which liberated Jerusalem’s Old City. He was one of the first soldiers to access the Temple Mount on the first night that the Temple Mount returned to Israeli sovereignty. As the remaining troops went to the Western Wall, Rabbi Ariel was tasked with guarding over the Dome of the Rock, site of the Holy of Holies in both the first and second Temple.

Last week, Breaking Israel News reported that a Jewish prayer ceremony took place on the Temple Mount since its liberation.

Below is the video of the reunion (in Hebrew)