Once again, the “status quo” on Temple Mount is in the crosshairs.
A brief review: During the Six Day War, Israel captured the Temple Mount, theretofore controlled by Jordan following the end of the British Mandate. After the war, Israel’s government gave control of day-to-day operations of the area to the Muslim Wakf — religious authorities — overseen by Jordan. However, the land itself belongs to the State of Israel and Israel retained security control of the area.
The controversy: The Wakf forbids Jews from praying on the Temple Mount. Irrespective of Wakf policy, most Jews believe it is forbidden to ascend the Temple Mount until the redemption. However in recent years, the contingent of Jews who go onto to Temple Mount to pray has been growing, leading to increased tensions and at times violent confrontations — as witnessed in the past weeks.
Whereas once it was unthinkable, it is now more common to hear calls to end the status quo. A major reason for this is that in recent Israeli-Palestinian conflagrations, the Temple Mount has often been used as a staging center, where weapons are stockpiled and then fired from. And it seems that such violent confrontations are becoming semi regular. Others argue that the Wakf policy is fundamentally discriminatory. Yet, on the other side, many worry that changing the status quo risks peace with Jordan and could even lead to war.
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