Majadele. Faithful
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Photo: Gabi Menashe
Eldad. Watchful
Photo: Gabi Menashe

Israel has no jurisdiction on Temple Mount, says culture minister

Raleb Majadele, Arieh Eldad polemicize over question of Israel's legal pull on Temple Mount. 'In keeping with the status-quo al-Aqsa cannot be under Israel's legal control,' says Majadele

Does the State of Israel have any jurisdiction on Temple Mount? Not according to Science, Culture and Sport Minister Raleb Majadele.


Majadele was called Tuesday to answer a parliamentary question regarding Israel's jurisdiction on the Temple Mount in regards to the digs performed on the site by the Waqf (Muslim administrative body in Jerusalem), which was brought to the Knesset by MK Arieh Eldad (National Union).


"I recently received a series of photographs of the digs near and around Temple Mount. The police is monitoring the digs, but there is no one from the Israel Antiquities Authority overseeing them and there is a real concern that any archeological finding discovered there might be destroyed by the Waqf," said Eldad.


"I would like to know what is being done in the immediate future to stop the destruction of the Temple's remains?"


The digs, replied Majadele, have been supervised by the IAA since their beginning, adding he has been working on "creating an understanding and cooperation between the Waqf and the IAA, which I hope will continue for a long time."


But does the State of Israel have any legal pull on Temple Mount, asked Eldad. "In my opinion," answered Majadele, "absolutely not."


Eldad went on to wonder if Majadele's reply was a testament to the government's opinion on the matter. "I can only speak my mind… I am a Muslim first and a minister second.


"Al-Aqsa (Mosque) is a holy site for Muslims and we are keeping the status-quo... but with all due respect, laws exist to honor man and his religion, not to enslave them. Al-Aqsa cannot be under Israel's legali jurisdiction."


Should the law contradict his religious beliefs, added Majadele, his choice is clear: "I'm a man of law and I will respect the State law, but if I have to choose between them and my faith, I will know where my choice lies."


Following Majadele's response to his query, Eldad demanded Tuesday that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert fire Majadele, and called on Attorney General Menachem Mazuz to launch an investigation against him, on suspicion of breach of trust.  


פרסום ראשון: 11.13.07, 23:53
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