- "Blowing up the Dome of the Rock is a worthy act",
Yehuda Etzion, one of the leaders of the Movement of the Temple Mount Loyalists
and a former convicted member of the "Jewish underground", has
told Army Radio this (Sunday) morning.
- Etzion's words came as a response to Public Security
Minister Tzachi Hanegbi's comments on Channel Two's Meet the Press, by
which, "The prospects that Jewish extremists could carry out an attack
on the Temple Mount in order to prevent the disengagement plan from being
implemented are growing".
- The right-wing activist's response stirred uproar among
members of the Knesset. MK Ran Cohen (Yahad) called on [Attorney General]
Mazuz and [ISA chief] Dichter "to use all measures in order to prevent
a handful of extremists from igniting the entire Middle East and lead Israel
into a religious war against hundreds of millions of Moslems".
- Cohen's fellow party member Yossi Sarid said that the
government should lock the Temple Mount's gate to Jews. "The Temple
Mount area is not a playground for opportunists from Sharon to Etzion.
As Tish'a Be'av (day of fasting in memory of destruction of first and second
temple) nears, every man is responsible for not allowing extremists to
destroy the third temple".
- Likud lawmaker and former senior ISA official Ehud Yatom
has termed Etzion's words as "extremely serious".
- Yatom, who took part in the 1984 arrest of the "Jewish
underground" while he served as the ISA's director of operations,
added, "The authorities must deal with those whose words are so inappropriate.
If there are such people who try to undermine the government and wish to
carry out such actions, I suggest they be placed under administrative detention".
- Meanwhile, the High Court of Justice will debate on Tuesday
a petition filed by the Temple Mount movement whose members wish to descend
to the mount during the Tish'a Be'av Tzom (a day of fasting in memory of
the destruction of the first and second temple).
- The movement's leader, Gershon Solomon, files a suit
with the court every year before the day of fasting demanding police allow
his entrance to the mount. According to police, the reason behind the refusal
is that Solomon has been "marked" by the Palestinians and his
entrance to the site could stir riots.
- Until today, justices have rejected Solomon's petitions
but emphasized that the denial of his entry must be based on updated intelligence
- Another leading right-wing activist who refused to be
identified has told NRG Maariv, "I don't know any person who would
blow up the Temple Mount but if this situation persists and the Palestinians
would continue to control it, I wouldn't be surprised if thousands of Jews
would forcefully make their way up to the mount in order to pray. Hanegbi
and other officials are preparing groundwork for administrative detentions.
We will continue to act; they wont intimidate us".
- Earlier, a senior police official reiterated the statement
made by Hanegbi. According to the official, there have been "quite
a few statements made by Jewish extremists as of late regarding a possibility
of an attack on the Temple Mount in an attempt to derail the disengagement".
- The official stressed, however, that specific information
on such a plot does not exist, but added that the police deployment around
the mount would be round the clock "24 hours a day, 7 days a week".
This, he says, "in order to prevent any attempt to perpetrate such