The Ethics Committee voted on Tuesday to uphold its decision from seven months ago to prohibit Knesset Members from ascending the Temple Mount. In its decision from November 2015, the committee said it was told by senior Israel Police officials that visits by MKs to the holy site in east Jerusalem would significantly deteriorate the security situation throughout the country.
The Ethics Committee stated that, until further notice, visiting the Temple Mount, which is holy to both Jews and Muslims, may be considered an ethics violation that carries sanctions. It cited the ethics rule that MKs are supposed to act for the good of the country.
The Ethics Committee said it discussed the matter again on Tuesday following pleas by committee member MK Yousef Jabareen (Joint List) and other MKs. Jerusalem District Police Commander Major-General Yoram Halevy briefed the committee and said that for the time being the police`s position on the ban remains unchanged.
The committee said it was further informed that in light of the relatively calm situation, Israel Police is considering allowing Arab MKs to visit the Temple Mount towards the end of the Ramadan holiday, and allowing Jewish lawmakers to visit the site as well after the Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr holidays.
”In light of what the committee has heard, it has reached a majority decision to uphold its previous decision for the time being,” the Ethics Committee said in statement, adding that it would change the decision should the security forces decide that MKs are allowed to visit the Temple Mount.