Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed his government today, updating politicians and the world on efforts to calm tensions at the Temple Mount.

His statement came after an Arab government member visited the Temple Mount in what many are saying was an attempt to incite anger and stir up further unrest.

Arab Member of Knesset Basel Ghattas (Joint Arab List) decided to visit the Temple Mount on Wednesday, violating a ban on visitation for Israeli lawmakers and declaring that “neither [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu nor the powers of the occupation will prevent Arabs and Muslim believers from realizing their right to pray at Al-Aqsa mosque or any holy Muslim site.”

The Israeli leader made the following statement today at the Knesset:

“The Temple Mount has been quiet for two weeks. We are making every effort to maintain this quiet, but it would seem that someone is disturbed by this. MK Ghattas went up to the Temple Mount, went to the Al-Aqsa Mosque. I assure you he did not do it in order to pray, he did it solely for the purpose of provocation, only to inflame the situation.”

“In accordance with my general directive, the police moved him away. I will not let any Knesset member or minister ignite the Temple Mount, and I call on all members of the Knesset and public figures in general to act responsibly, especially at this time.”

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Erica Terry is Managing Editor at Jspace News. She has reported on domestic and international news, Israeli politics, features and more for Jewish publications in New York, Miami and London.
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