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No Change in ‘Situation on the Temple Mount,’ Says PM Bennett

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avatar by i24 News

Palestinians walk at the compound that houses Al-Aqsa Mosque, known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount, in Jerusalem’s Old City May 21, 2021. Photo: REUTERS/Ammar Awad

i24 News – The situation on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount is unchanged and there are no new developments, the Israeli prime minister’s office said Tuesday, following reports that Israel had accepted Jordan’s request to increase its power at the holy site.

On Monday, Kan public broadcaster reported that Israel’s Public Security Minister Omer Barlev gave into Jordan’s demands to add an additional 50 members to the Waqf — the Jordanian-ruled council that administers the Islamic sites on the Al Aqsa Mosque compound.

Immediately after, Jordan’s Waqf Islamic Affairs Ministry urged that it doesn’t need “participation or dictation” over the appointment of security guards at Jerusalem’s holy complex.

It pointed out that it is the only body responsible for implementing custodianship over Islamic and Christian holy sites and “the historical and legal status quo” of Jerusalem.

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However, the office of Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Tuesday, “Indeed, about a month and a half ago, a Jordanian request was received to increase the Waqf presence on the Temple Mount by 50 guards, but Israel did not find it appropriate to accede to the request.”

Instead, “six Hamas-backed Waqf guards were removed from the Temple Mount, and 12 new Waqf positions were manned,” it continued.

According to the Kan report, Barlev agreed to Jordan’s request on the condition that Waqf members who support the Gaza-based terrorist group Hamas be removed from the compound.

“Israel’s sovereignty has been preserved,” Bennett’s office added. “All decisions on the Temple Mount will be made by the Israeli government out of considerations of sovereignty, freedom of religion, and security, and not out of pressure from foreign or political factors.”

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