Americans need to understand the Middle East
How much do we really know?

At The Media Line, we value all points of view and aim to mend our differences through fact-based narrative-inclusive journalism Help support our bold and brave team in Afghanistan, Gaza, Israel, Palestinian Territories, the UAE, and beyond.
Help us continue our work and provide access to the news that matters to you.

Thank you and best wishes to you and yours for this Jewish New Year.
Felice Friedson
Founder, President
Temple Mount Reopens to Jews After 19-Day Closure
The Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount, Haram al-Sharif. (Dudi Saad/The Media Line)

Temple Mount Reopens to Jews After 19-Day Closure

The Temple Mount in Jerusalem reopened to Jewish visitors on Sunday morning after being closed for 19 days due to the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, violent clashes between Muslims and the Israeli police at the site, and the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas. The Temple Mount, where the first and second Jewish temples stood in biblical times, is considered Judaism’s holiest site. It has since the seventh century CE been the site of the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque and is considered the third holiest site to Muslims.

The Temple Mount was first closed to Jews on May 4 to avoid clashes with the large numbers of Muslims who were expected for the final days of Ramadan. It remained closed to Jewish visitors as tensions between Israelis and Palestinians in Jerusalem heated up, culminating on May 10 in riots on the mount and the outbreak of war, including the shooting by Hamas of rockets from the Gaza Strip toward Jerusalem.

On Sunday morning, around 100 Jews visited the site, including some who said they prayed the morning service there, a practice that is formally banned by regulations at the site.

On Saturday night, MK Moshe Gafni, chairman of the ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism party, asked Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to keep the site closed to Jews, in accordance with an interpretation of Jewish religious law that makes some parts of the mount, in practice, off-limits to Jews today, due to issues of ritual impurity. Netanyahu did not accede to Gafni’s request. While many religious Jews refrain from visiting the site altogether, others say that by keeping the relevant laws of purity and avoiding forbidden areas, they can visit the holy site without fear of violating religious prohibitions.

Give the Gift of Trusted News!

Dear friends,

The Media Line is always there to report to you the stories and issues of the Middle East – completely and in context: TML is the source you can trust.

Know The Media Line to Know The Middle East!

Please support our ad-free, nonprofit news agency. Our seasoned journalists reporting from the Middle East are working day and night during these challenging, yet defining times; and our student interns are honing their knowledge and skills, preparing to emerge as tomorrow’s journalists.

You rely on us and we’re relying on you! Make your online tax-deductible donation here and contact us regarding donations through appreciated stock, donor advised funds, qualifying IRA distributions and other charitable instruments.

Thank you for confidence in The Media Line.
Felice Friedson
Founder, President

Invest in the
Trusted Mideast
News source.
We are on the
front lines.

Personalize Your News
Upgrade your experience by choosing the categories that matter most to you.
Click on the icon to add the category to your Personalize news
Browse Categories and Topics
Wake up to the Trusted Mideast News source Mideast Daily News Email
By subscribing, you agree to The Media Line terms of use and privacy policy.
Wake up to the Trusted Mideast News source Mideast Daily News Email
By subscribing, you agree to The Media Line terms of use and privacy policy.