In a move that may heighten tensions in the capital, the Organization for Human Rights on the Temple Mount (OHRTM) called for Jews to visit the east Jerusalem compound, which houses the al-Aqsa Mosque.
During a rightist event held in Jerusalem Sunday evening, just hours after Muslims rioted in and around the Temple Mount amid reports that Jewish extremists were planning to visit the site, Professor Hillel Weiss said, "The (third) temple must be built now. The mosques do not have to be destroyed in order for us to do this."
Sunday's riots in east Jerusalem (Photo: AP)
The conference, which was attended by a number of Knesset members and leading rabbis, was held in protest of the decision to seal off the compound due to the recent violence.
"It's time that we stop surrendering to violence," Temple Institute Director Rabbi Yehuda Glick said, adding that "before his assassination, prime minister Yitzhak Rabin said the greatest threat to Israeli democracy is bowing down to violence.
"Unfortunately, lately police are surrendering and withdrawing in the face of the Palestinians' violence," said the rabbi.
Kiryat Arba Chief Rabbi Dov Lior said, "It is vital that the Israeli people visit the (Temple Mount). We are suffering because a large segment of the populations is indifferent towards this issue.
"Reclaiming our sovereignty over (the Temple Mount) will bring redemption closer," said the rabbi.
Far-right activist Moshe Feiglin told the conference that the Temple Mount riots and the Goldstone Report, which accuses the IDF of committing war crimes during its December-January conflict with Hamas in Gaza, both constitute attempts to "undermine our legitimacy in this land."