National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir staged an unannounced visit to Temple Mount on Tuesday morning after discussing his intention to pay the visit in the coming weeks with PM Binyamin Netanyahu the day before. With him was a security and police escort. Other Jewish visitors were held back at the gates until the minister’s had left. The Palestinian foreign ministry sharply lambasted the visit as an “unprecedented provocation” and “a grave threat to the Al Aqsa Mosque.”Netanyahu would be held responsible, said the statement from Ramallah, for its impact on the regional dispute.
The Ben-Gvir visit to Temple Mount was not announced in advance. It was approved after Police Commissioner Yakov Shabtai held a special consultation to appraise the situation with the police Jerusalem District chief and liaison with the government. The event went by without incident.