Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir declared that Israel still controls the holy site despite Hamas’ threats while visiting the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Sunday.
The head of the Otzma Yehudit Party said, “I’m glad to travel up to the Temple Mount, the most important place for the people of Israel.
It should be noted that the police are performing admirably here and have once more established who is the rightful owner of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.
We are the proprietors of Jerusalem and the entire Land of Israel. Therefore, he added that none of the threats from Hamas would be helpful.
Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesperson for the Palestinian president, described Ben-Gvir’s visit as a “blatant attack” on the mosque.
Neighboring Egypt, which has a peace agreement with Israel, also slammed it, calling it “a provocative step that is condemned, and a dangerous and unacceptable escalation.”
Ben-Gvir’s visit, according to the head of the Temple Mount Administration, Rabbi Shimshon Elbaum, “gives meaning to the slogan ‘The Temple Mount is in our hands,’ which recently turned 56 years old.”
Elbaum was alluding to the announcement made by IDF commander Mordechai Gur after his brigade liberated the Old City from the Jordanians in 1967.
Before Jerusalem Day, which started on Thursday evening, approximately 1,200 Jews visited the Temple Mount.
To avoid clashing with the start of Shabbat, the traditional flag procession through the Old City and other celebrations for the occasion commemorating the reunification of Israel’s capital after the 1967 Six-Day War were also held on Thursday.
Several Knesset members, including Yitzhak Shimon Wasserlauf of the Otzma Yehudit Party and Minister for Development of the Periphery, the Negev, and the Galilee, visited the site on Thursday.
Ben-Gvir also addressed the Knesset vote on Wednesday that his party abstained from in opposition to funding reductions for initiatives in the Galilee and the Negev in his speech on Sunday.
“We must never forget our Galileean and Negev brothers. We must invest in the Negev and the Galilee in the 2019 budget. He added that the basis is the budget, adding that “Jerusalem is our soul, the Negev, and the Galilee is our soul. We must invest there, act there, and be the proprietors of the Negev and the Galilee.
השר לביטחון לאומי איתמר בן גביר עלה הבוקר להר הבית: "אנחנו בעלי הבית כאן ובתקציב הקרוב אני מקווה שגם הנגב והגליל יהיה על ראש שמחתנו". pic.twitter.com/RKwV2Vsiug
— חזקי ברוך (@HezkeiB) May 21, 2023