Proposal to allow Jewish prayer on Temple Mount

Knesset members from the Likud and Labor parties have collaborated on a proposal that would allow Jews to pray on the Temple Mount.

The plan by Miri Regev of Likud and Hilik Bar of Labor would reverse the ban on Jewish prayer on the mount, considered Judaism’s holiest site.

Their measure would create a model there similar to the arrangement at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, where Jews and Muslims pray in separate areas. It also would punish disturbance of the peace with a $14,000 fine.

Regev and Bar have yet to submit the proposal to the Knesset floor.

Tens of thousands of Jews visit the Temple Mount annually, according to Ynet. In recent months, frequent Jewish visits have been met several times with Palestinian protests.

Regev noted the site’s holiness to Jews and called for restricting Palestinian access to the mount in response to Palestinian unrest.

“There is no reason that Jews should not be allowed to pray in the holiest site in the world,” she said May 17, according to Ynet.

The ban on Jewish prayer was instituted shortly after Israel captured the Temple Mount in the 1967 Six-Day War. The Islamic Waqf, a joint Jordanian-Palestinian religious body, controls the site’s policy. — jta