In a move that could reignite tension on the Temple Mount, the Israeli Knesset’s Ethics Committee decided Tuesday to allow lawmakers to visit the sensitive holy site. The committee made the decision in response to pressure from both right-wing factions and the Joint Arab List party.
The Ethics Committee decided to place certain restrictions on visits to the Temple Mount by Members of Knesset (MKs), including a prohibition on television coverage of the visits as well as requirements to coordinate visits with the police in advance and to obtain permits from the Israel Police commander in charge of the Temple Mount.
Several of the committee members admitted they had made the decision with heavy hearts, and expressed concern that MKs visiting the site may cause provocations that would lead to renewed rioting, in a repeat of events that transpired on the Temple Mount two years ago.
Since the ban on lawmakers’ visits to the holy site was issued, the ongoing violent clashes on the Temple Mount have stopped, and both Jewish and Arab civilians have been able to make visits with minimal disruption.