(JPOST) — Israel will not let Mecca and Medina rules apply on the Temple Mount, Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Avi Dichter said on Monday, referring to the two holy cities in Saudi Arabia where entrance is prohibited to non-Muslims.
“The idea that what was done in Saudi Arabia – where two cities holy to Islam, Mecca and Medina, are sites where only Muslims have the right to enter – will be done on the Temple Mount is a distorted idea that we will not let happen,” Dichter said. “We will respect the sanctity of al-Aksa Mosque in Jerusalem, and will stand up for our rights on the Temple Mount.”
Non-Muslims are not allowed into al-Aksa’s prayer hall, while they are permitted on the Temple Mount. Al-Aksa is the lead-domed mosque on the southern side of the site, often confused with the golden Dome of the Rock, which is a shrine, not a mosque, and is located in the center of the Temple Mount.