Ben Gvir visits Temple Mount, says Israel is real 'owner of Jerusalem'
Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir said the Jewish state is in charge of Jerusalem and the land of Israel. He delivered his remarks during a visit to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City on Sunday.
"I am happy to go up to the Temple Mount, the most important place for the people of Israel," stated Ben Gvir.
"It should be said that the police are doing a wonderful job here and once again, proving who is the owners in Jerusalem. All the threats of Hamas will not [change anything], we are the owners of Jerusalem and of the entire Land of Israel," the national security minister said.
Rabbi Shimshon Elbaum, the head of the Temple Mount Administration, welcomed Ben Gvir’s visit to the Temple Mount.
"I congratulate National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir for his ascent to the Temple Mount, which gives meaning to the slogan 'The Temple Mount is in our hands' – which recently turned 56 years old," said Elbaum.
The Jewish state captured Jerusalem’s Old City from Jordan during the Six-Day War in June 1967. The Temple Mount is considered to be the most sacred site in Judaism and the location of two ancient Jewish temples. While the Temple Mount is formally under Israeli sovereignty, the Waqf Muslim authority is in charge of the daily administration of the site, which currently houses the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque.
In January, Muslim and Western leaders condemned Ben Gvir after he decided to visit the Temple Mount shortly after the current government was sworn in. Some Middle East leaders accused the Israeli government of changing the reality on the ground on the Temple Mount.
However, Netanyahu's government quickly reassured world leaders that was committed to maintaining the so-called 'status quo' on the Temple Mount, which prohibits non-Muslim worship on the site.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.