Israel’s PM Against Jewish Prayer At Temple Mount, Arabs Welcome

Wednesday, October 19, 2022 | Tag Cloud Tags: , , , ,

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By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News

JERUSALEM (Worthy News) – Israel’s Prime Minister Yair Lapid has pledged to continue “Muslim rights on the Temple Mount” while he prohibits Jews from praying there and supports a Palestinian state.

Lapid made the promise to Arab voters ahead of upcoming elections for the Knesset, Israel’s parliament.

Polls show he needs their support amid forecasted political gridlock after the November 1 vote. Opposition leader and multi-times previous prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his right-religious bloc lead in the polls but fall just short of a majority.

Prime Minister Yair Lapid lacks a clear path to forming another government, and the far-right Religious Zionism party is set to become Israel’s third-largest party, surveys showed.

With Israel facing political uncertainty, Lapid told Israeli Arab media that he wanted to gain the trust of the Arabic public by maintaining the right of Muslims to hold religious worship at the Al-Aqsa Mosque. He also agreed to prevent Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount. “Regarding Al-Aqsa (Mosque), I have made it in every possible way. We are not changing the status quo at Al-Aqsa, and we will take care of the freedom of worship of Muslims at Al-Aqsa,” he said.

During the Muslim holiday of Ramadan, Lapid noted that “a million people came to pray at Al-Aqsa, and we made sure that they were able to go up and pray.” He stressed that “it is our duty as a government to allow freedom of worship for any Muslim who wants to come and pray at Al-Aqsa, and we will protect it.”


In comments expected to be criticized by at least some religious Jews, Lapid added that his government does “not allow Jewish prayers on the Temple Mount” but only Jewish ‘visits.’ “They visit. It is under supervision so that the status quo is not violated,” Lapid explained.

However, Lapid made clear that he supports “the two-state” solution. “I think and have always thought that we should say goodbye to the Palestinians,” who seek their state. “Our goal is that there will be no violence and no terrorism [and] to live in peace,” the prime minister said.

Lapid also promises to improve tackling crime in the Arab areas. “Women should not be murdered. Children should not be murdered. We need to deal with the criminal organizations.”

He said his government’s policies already made “some of the leaders of the criminal organizations” flee “to Turkey and other places. We hit their money.”

Lapid blamed previous Israeli cabinets for Arabs suffering crime. “There was neglect here that lasted for 12, 15 years in a row. It takes time to fix.”

But it remained unclear whether he had convinced the Arabic electorate enough to turn around an expected close race between him and his rivals for the 120-seats Knesset.

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