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Report: Israeli government to close Temple Mount to Jews until end of Ramadan

Recent escalation of violence in Jerusalem has received international condemnation 

Israeli security forces escort a group of religious Jews as they visit the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City, March 31, 2022. (Photo: Jamal Awad/Flash90)

Israeli media outlets are reporting that Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's government has decided to close the Temple Mount to Jews until the end of Ramadan.

The closure will come into effect starting Friday and will last about 16 days, according to reports. 

"Israeli officials leaking to Hebrew media that Temple Mount will be closed to Jewish visitors from Friday until the end of Ramadan, May 2," Times of Israel correspondent Jacob Magid said on Twitter. "Right-wing pundits blasting it as 'surrender to terror,' though it's been the policy for years, including under (former Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu, of course."

Matan Peleg, CEO of the right-wing Im Tirtzu movement said in a statement: “The Israeli government is creating an incentive for terror... The meaning is clear – it is a racist policy against Jews and harm of freedom of worship. Discrimination and terror incentives must stop!”

Far-right Knesset Member Bezalel Smotrich said that Bennett and Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked – both former partners of his in a different party – caved to terror.

"Against the backdrop of Arab violence and the false incitement of the Jordanians and Turks, Bennett and Shaked's decision to close the Temple Mount to Jews until the end of Ramadan is a security and political farce that actually acknowledges the Arab lie as if the Jews are to blame for the current escalation," he said in a statement. "How we warned against the formation of a government that would rely on the Islamic movement and the abandonment of Israel's security in its hands. Bennett and Shaked are harming the State of Israel and endangering it politically and security-wise for their political survival."

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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