MKs from the Arab Joint List ascended the Temple Mount on Tuesday, in protest of Jewish visitors and Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) visiting the site on Sunday, the day of Tisha B'Av, the Jewish national day of mourning over the Temple.
According to NRG, members of the List met with members of the Jordanian Waqf after visiting the site, as well as with the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Muhammed Hussein.
Included in the delegation were Joint List chairman MK Ayman Odeh, and MKs Masud Ghnaim, Jamal Zahalka, Ahmed Tibi, Hanin Zoabi, Abd al-Hakim Hajj Yahya, Yousef Jabareen, and Osama Saadi – more than half the List's currently serving MKs.
Afterwards MK Basel Ghattas posted a video of himself speaking at length in Arabic from the Mount on Facebook; video has also surfaced of Tibi asking the Israel Police to remove a group of Jewish visitors to the Mount, as hordes of Arabs on the Mount scream "Allahu Akhbar."
The Arab MKs claimed they were protesting "police brutality" at the Mount, after a gang of violent Arab rioters attacked police.
"The visit to Al-Aqsa Mosque is the result of force used by the police at the entrance to the mosque, firing tear gas and making arrests at the site," Odeh stated Monday. "We think that the visit of Minister Uri Ariel is a provocative visit aimed at changing the status quo."
"The very fact that he visits again and again, even though we know that the visits are explosive, shows that any visit is just a provocation," he continued. "With the arrival of list members, we express our position that this was a violation of the status quo, reinforcing the occupation and denial of Arab sovereignty anchored in place."
Despite being the holiest site in Judaism, Jews – and other non-Muslims – are forbidden to perform any acts of worship on the Temple Mount, including uttering prayers, due to Muslim threats of violence. Visibly-religious Jews are scrutinized carefully by police and arrested if suspected of praying, on the Waqf's orders.
The Temple Mount is the location of the two Holy Temples of Jerusalem, the latter of which was destroyed in 70 CE.
It is also the site of the Al Aqsa Mosque compound, which is built atop the ancient Jewish ruins.
In recent years Muslim groups have sought to deny the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount altogether, claiming it as an Islamic holy site and seeking to prevent growing numbers of Jews from visiting it via organized harassment campaigns and outbursts of violence.