Isr okaeli activists were detained on Monday for preparing to offer a sacrificial rite atop Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.
In line with biblical tradition, the “Return to the Mount” campaigners planned to sacrifice a lamb at the sacred location.
Outside one of the Mount’s gates, police stopped the protestors and detained them before interrogating them.
“Bringing a sacrifice is the signal to start the struggle to renew the Temple service. The time has come after two thousand years to stop crying and start changing the situation,” Return to the Mount said in a statement Monday.
“The sad thing is that the easiest thing that can be done right now is to start building an altar in its place and offering a sacrifice on it. This is something that is allowed according to Jewish law, even though we are considered ritually impure [because of the lack of the ashes of a red heifer needed to remove that impurity]. With God’s help, starting this month throughout the year, more and more Jews will come to bring their sacrifices to God,” added the statement.
Amit Halevi, a Likud legislator, advocated dividing the Temple Mount between Muslims and Jews earlier this month.
He also suggested removing Jordan’s role as the site’s custodian. Halevi described a proposal in which Jews would be given the middle and northern portions of the 37-acre compound, where the Dome of the Rock is located, while Muslims would be given sovereignty over the southern end, home to the al-Aqsa mosque.
Halevi asserts that since the First and Second Temples were built on that portion of the Temple Mount, which is considered to be the holiest place in Judaism, the restructuring makes sense from a theological perspective.
Jewish scriptures put the Holy of Holies at the Foundation Stone in the Dome of the Rock.
The Temple Mount had 51,483 Jewish visitors in 2022, up from 20,684 in 2020 and 34,651 in 2021, according to data gathered by Beyadenu, an NGO whose mission is to promote the Jewish connection to the location.