„In recent years, Jewish and Muslim holidays have become flashpoints for unrest in and around the Temple Mount/Haram a-Sharif (TM/HAS) often escalating into clashes and violence. The upcoming holidays also coincide with the weeks leading up to the Israeli national elections, which will likely spur right-wing politicians and activists affiliated with them to capitalize on the timing and take measures to further challenge the status quo on the TM/HAS. …“
„As such, these actions are laying the ground for what could devolve into a renewed crisis surrounding the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif. In order for such a crisis to be averted, Israeli authorities should be immediately called upon to take the following measures:
- Cease all daily prayers and ritual activity by Jewish groups on the Holy Esplanade
- Curb opportunities for Temple Movement activists to deliberately breach the Status Quo (i.e. limiting the size of groups of Jewish visitors to enable the police to effectively prevent violations and enforce compliance).
- End the police’s close coordination with the Temple Movements. These extreme political activists should not be part of decision-making and management of the most sensitive Holy site and inarguably, the epicenter of the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
- Rebuild a partnership with the Jordanian Waqf. Only such partnership can reduce Muslim concerns. The Waqf’s involvement can be crucial to avoid initial conflicts from escalating, yet after Israeli authorities have worked to undermine its authority, it is far more difficult for the Waqf to mitigate tensions.„
Written by Ir Amim Senior Field Researcher, Aviv Tatarsky