In the face of record numbers of Jews ascending to Har HaBayis this Tishah B’Av, Sephardic Chief Rabbi Harav Yitzchak Yosef published a renewed condemnation of the activity.
“Today, on Tishah B’Av, the day the Mikdash was destroyed, it is imperative to recall that the pilgrimage to Har HaBayis is forbidden by Jewish law,” Rav Yosef said. “Those Jews who ascend to Har HaBayis desecrate its sanctity.”
According to a police count, 1,263 Jews entered the site on Tuesday, setting a new record for visitors on a single day.
Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi condemned the development from a very different point of view. Speaking at an emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Tuesday, Safadi said, “The number of [Jewish] extremists who stormed Al-Aqsa today stands at a record number that has not been recorded since the beginning of the Israeli occupation in 1967.
“The crisis is over, but further and more dangerous crises will break out as a result of Israel’s continued provocation, if Israel will not uproot the source of the tension, if the occupation will not end and if East Jerusalem will not become the capital of an independent Palestine.”