Following an emergency request to allow Jewish access to the Temple Mount, Israeli Supreme Court Justice Dafna Barak ordered the legislative branch of the government to respond to a petition filed by Temple Mount activists. According to the appellants, Arnon Segal and Yehuda Etzion a closed door agreement was made between Israel and Jordan to close the Temple Mount to Jewish pilgrims.
Segal and Etzion claim that Prime Minister Netanyahu engaged in secret negotiations with Amman and agreed to close the holy site to both Jews and Arabs during the coronavirus crisis.
But during this time, Muslims were still allowed into the Temple Mount complex. Itamar Ben Gvir, the lawyer representing the appellants charges that if there was indeed an agreement, it is illegal and even if there wasn’t an agreement, allowing the Jordanian Wakf staff on the Mount during the lock-down is also illegal.
Segal is also a journalist and therefore, the state also violated his journalistic privileges by not allowing him access onto the Holy Site. Those privileges are supposed to be protected under the law.
Ben Gvir said in a statement: “I think the time has come that the Prime Minister of Israel clarifies if there is an agreement and under the guise of the coronavirus crisis, if there is a protocol to ban Jews from entering the Temple Mount. And if there is indeed such an agreement, it is illegal. It violates the law of protecting holy sites and the basic laws of Jerusalem which permits access to Jews to the Temple Mount. Furthermore, one cannot discriminate and allow entrance to the Wakf but not for Jews.”