Jews arrived in droves to ascend to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Sunday morning, the first time that the sacred site was reopened to Jewish visitation since being closed due to COVID-19 concerns more than two months ago.
Among the hundreds of Jews who went up to the holiest site in the Jewish religion on Sunday were Knesset members Uri Ariel, and former Knesset members Yehuda Glick and Shuli Muallem-Refaeli.
“After 70 days during which the Temple Mount was closed to visiting and prayer, tomorrow it will open!” tweeted Muallem-Refaeli on Saturday. “I invite you all with great excitement to join me tomorrow to go up in purity at 8:30 a.m. I have a strong longing for the holy place, to go up together with many people from all parts of Israeli society and especially to pray for recovery and peace for all.”
The Jewish visitors arrived after hundreds of Muslim worshippers had already congregated outside the Al-Aqsa mosque, which was also closed due to coronavirus-infection concerns.
Al-Aqsa and the adjacent Dome of the Rock will continue to be closed to visitors, except for groups that can pray outside in cordoned-off sections of up to 50 people each.
Also on Sunday, eight Muslim visitors to the Temple Mount were detained after yelling nationalistic slogans and disrupting other visitors to the site, according to police.