By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency / Jewish News Agency
Jerusalem, Israel — January 3, 2023 … Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is committed to strictly maintaining the status quo, without changes, on the Temple Mount.
Netanyahu states: “We will not be dictated to by Hamas. Under the status quo, ministers have gone up to the Temple Mount in recent years, including Israel Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan; therefore, the claim that a change has been made in the status quo is without foundation.”
The compound, known as Temple Mount to Jews and Haram al-Sharif, or Noble Sanctuary, to Muslims, is Judaism’s most sacred site and Islam’s third-holiest after Mecca and Medina.
The vast plaza overlooking Jerusalem’s Old City, with the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, is an important holy site for Christians as well. Until its destruction by the Romans in A.D. 70, the Second Jewish Temple was believed to have been located there. For Muslims, Prophet Muhammad’s ascent to heaven is associated with the sacred site.