Israeli lawmakers visit Temple Mount after ban said lifted
Minister Uri Ariel and Likud party member Sharren Haskel visit holy site that has often triggered serious violence between Israelis and Palestinians, after Netanyahu reportedly lifts long-standing ban on Israeli Knesset members visiting the compound.
Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel and Likud party member Sharren Haskel visited the hilltop compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary or Haram Al-Sharif.
The compound is considered the holiest site for Jews, the site of the two biblical Temples, and today is home to Al Aqsa Mosque, Islam's third holiest site. It is the emotional epicenter of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Netanyahu had instituted a ban on Israeli lawmakers visiting the site in November 2015 as a measure to ease tensions with the Palestinians.
Netanyahu's office had no comment about the lawmakers' visits.
The site, which is jointly run by Israel an Jordan, has been the origin of many violent incidents between Israel and the Palestinians.
Palestinians launched the Second Intifada in September 2000 after former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon caused outrage by visiting the Temple Mount.
Dozens of suicide bombings by Palestinians were carried out in response against Israeli civilians in hotels, restaruants, bars and buses in the wave of violence that ensued and continued until 2005.
More recently, in 2014 Likud MK Yehuda Glick survived an assassination attempt when he was left in critical condition after being shot outside a conference that called for the rights of Jews to visit the Temple Mount in the heart of Jerusalem.