Temple Mount Closed to Jews; Erez Crossing Closed to Gazan Workers
Israel Police have closed the Tempe Mount to Jewish pilgrims “until further notice,” the Temple Mount Administration announced on Saturday night. The announcement comes days after Israeli media reported that the area that is home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound would remain closed from April 22 until the end of Ramadan on May 2.
The closure of the site that is holy to both Jews and Muslims is a policy that is generally observed each year for the last 10 days of Ramadan, however, including last year.
More than 4,600 Jewish pilgrims visited the site during the Passover holiday.
Meanwhile, the Israel Defense Forces section responsible for Palestinian civil affairs, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), announced on Saturday that the Erez crossing between Israel and Gaza will remain closed on Sunday due to ongoing rocket fire from Gaza. Three rockets were fired from Gaza at southern Israel overnight Saturday. One of them landed inside of Gaza.
“Following the rockets fired toward Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip last night, it was decided that crossings into Israel for Gazan merchants and workers through the Erez Crossing will not be permitted this upcoming Sunday,” COGAT said in a statement on Saturday.
The Gaza workers union called the closure “collective punishment.”