Bennett’s Office Walks Back ‘Freedom of Worship for Jews’ on Temple Mount
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s office walked back his statement that there is freedom of worship for Jews on the Temple Mount. Bennett, according to unnamed sources in his office quoted in Israeli media on Monday, misspoke in a statement on Sunday thanking Public Security Minister Omer Barlev and Israel Police Inspector-General Yaakov Shabtai “for managing the events on the Temple Mount with responsibility and consideration, while maintaining freedom of worship for Jews on the Mount.”
Barlev in an interview on Israeli television on Sunday night said that Bennett meant to say “freedom of movement,” in discussing the 1,600 Jewish pilgrims that visited the Temple Mount on Sunday for the Fast of the 9th of Av that commemorates the destruction of two Jewish Temples on the site.
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid on Monday told Israeli media that the statement did not point to a change in the status quo on the Temple Mount, which is overseen by the Jordanian Wakf.