Creating new perspectives since 2009

Israel Knesset member calls for building ‘3rd temple’ at Al-Aqsa Mosque

April 18, 2024 at 7:08 pm

An aerial view of thousands of Palestinian worshipers gather to break their fast on the last Friday prayer of the holy month of Ramadan and perform prayer on the night of Laylat al-Qadr at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, despite Israeli restrictions on April 5, 2024 [Mostafa Alkharouf – Anadolu Agency]

A far-right member of the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) has called for building what he called a “third temple” in the place of the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in Occupied East Jerusalem, Anadolu Agency reports.

“I really hope that all of the Jewish people will have to come next week on Monday to offer their Passover sacrifice in Jerusalem,” Yitzhak Pindrus, a member of the extremist United Torah Judaism Party, said in a TV interview.

“We are hoping that soon the Third Temple will be built there, and we’ll be able to eat there from the Passover sacrifices.”

Passover, which commemorates the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt during the time of Prophet Moses, is considered one of the most important holidays on the Jewish religious calendar.

It begins this year on the evening of 22 April till 30 April.

Al-Aqsa is one of the world’s holiest sites for Muslims. Jews, for their part, call the area as the Temple Mount, saying it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

The Knesset member’s call is the latest in provocative statements and moves made by Israeli officials on the flashpoint site.

According to Israeli media on Wednesday, far-right National Security Minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, included changes to the status quo at the site in his Ministry’s formal action plans.

Ben-Gvir’s plan seeks to change the status quo at the Mosque by allowing Israeli control over the site and opening it to Jewish worshipers, the Israeli public broadcaster, KAN, said.

Under an Ottoman-era status quo agreement, non-Muslims are allowed to enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, but cannot worship or pray there.

Israeli police, however, have allowed settler incursions into the Mosque complex since 2003, despite repeated condemnations from Palestinians.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. It annexed the entire city in 1980, in a move never recognised by the international community.

READ: Illegal Israeli settlers storm Jerusalem Al-Aqsa complex amid tension