“I’m telling you that our working assumption must be that there are weapons on the Mount,” Dichter said.
“Do you know what the most frustrating thing about the Miss Universe pageant is? Coming in second,” Likud MK Avi Dichter tells Israel Hayom in an published on Friday.
“The Temple Mount is in second place after Mecca and Medina. No one really makes pilgrimages to the Temple Mount. There is no Hajj here. For them, the fact that Israel captured the Temple Mount is outstanding leverage, but their real goal is elsewhere – it’s conflict.
“The Temple Mount is just an instrument,” Dichter, the current chairman of Israel’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and former head of the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security agency, told the paper in an exclusive interview.
Dichter was the chief of the Shin Bet when then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon visited the Temple Mount, which most now accept was the excuse for – but not the cause – of the Second Intifada in 2000. The violence led to the death of 1,000 Israelis.
Dichter says “the working assumption must be that there are weapons stockpiles on the Mount, and anyone who doesn’t work off that assumption is missing an important part of his job.”
He says the number of visitors, which can reach hundreds of thousands per day, makes it impossible to prevent weapons from being smuggled in.
Metal detectors had been installed after a terrorist attack in July 2017 in which two Israeli policemen were murdered by three Israeli Arabs who ran out of the Temple Mount armed with improvised machine guns and a handgun. All the terrorists were eventually shot and killed.
The metal detectors that were subsequently installed caused an uproar among Arabs leading to their hasty removal. Dichter supports putting the metal detectors back, Israel Hayom reports.
“I know that eventually, there will be security checks at the entrances to the Temple Mount. I can’t tell you what they’ll look like, but there will have to be security checks because everyone understands the sensitivity of what would happen if, heaven forbid, there was another terrorist attack here,” he said.
Date published: 20/10/2019
Feature image: A Palestinian child plays with a toy gun on his father’s shoulders at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City, Nov. 6, 2015. (Flash90/Muammar Awad)
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