MK Abbas Under Fire After Asking Israeli Authorities for Permission to Visit Har HaBayis

MK Mansour Abbas leads a discussion and a vote on a bill to dissolve the Knesset, on June 29. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

MK Mansour Abbas, of the Ra’am party, is facing heavy criticism from his Arab colleagues after requesting permission from Israeli authorities before his visit to Har HaBayis.

For security reasons and due to the sensitivity of the site, the protocol requires an MK to receive permission from the police and the Knesset before visiting Har HaBayis, as such a visit may generate a diplomatic or security incident. However, such a request can be construed as recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the site, and most Arab MKs refrain from requesting such permission.

Abbas visited Har HaBayis on Sunday after receiving the required permits.

Abbas denied that he coordinated his visit but Walla! News obtained the written documents from the Knesset and police confirming that Abbas did file the request.

In response, the Joint List issued an announcement in Arabic against Abbas, saying that his visit to the Al-Aqsa mosque “in coordination with the occupation police constitutes a dangerous precedent and recognition of Israel’s sovereignty.”

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