Jewish activists seeking to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem will be conducting a ritual Passover sacrifice of a lamb in a nearby park in full view of the Temple Mount.
The ceremony is expected to raise opposition and protest from the Islamic Waqf, which the Israeli government permits to administer visits and activity on the Temple Mount, known to Muslims as the “Noble Sanctuary.”
The sacrifice ceremony this year is scheduled to take place closer to the Temple Mount than previous rituals, which were held in the Mount of Olives, across a valley.
Temple Mount activists, some of whom are involved with the Passover sacrifice, are pushing to rebuild a Jewish Temple in accordance with Bible prophecies.
It remains unclear whether Israeli police have approved this year’s ceremony.
Tensions over Jewish activity on the Temple Mount have led to eruptions in violence in the past between Israelis and Palestinians.
Meanwhile, the Temple Mount Institute released a video explaining why Jews should conduct such a sacrifice this year, despite the fact that the Temple has not yet been rebuilt.
The Passover sacrifice ceremony has been conducted annually for the past 15 years, beginning as a semi-underground event in which an animal was sacrificed a few days before Passover. The reenactment, however, is now the most important event of the year for Temple Mount activists.
In recent years, the municipality has supported the event, and an inspector from the veterinary service has been on hand to supervise. Hundreds of people, including Knesset members, rabbis and other public figures have attended.
The ceremony comes at a time when Arab neighbors, on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, are preparing to submit yet another resolution to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization challenging Israel’s sovereignty over the whole of the city of Jerusalem.
A draft of the resolution, obtained by Israeli officials, states that “any action taken by Israel, the Occupying Power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction, and administration on the City of Jerusalem, are illegal and therefore null and void and have no validity whatsoever.”
The resolution, up for vote May 1, was submitted by Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Sudan. It is not the first time that a UNESCO resolution has refused to recognize Israeli sovereignty over east Jerusalem, but it is the first time Arab states have challenged its rule over the rest of the city.