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Knesset members return to Temple Mount

After a two-year ban, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu allowed Knesset members to return to the Temple Mount in a trial run of a new policy.
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A photo of Knesset member Ariel Sharon in September 2000, surrounded by border police officers and a single journalist, who happens to be the author of this article, hangs in the offices of several senior officials of Shin Bet and the Jerusalem police force. Sharon and the officers are gathered at the entrance to the Temple Mount, or Haram al-Sharif, as it is known to Muslims. Riots erupted in Jerusalem's Old City in reaction to Sharon's visit to the site. Some claim that his visit led to the eruption of the second intifada (2000-2005), but facts show that the visit was not the sole cause, or even the main cause, of the outbreak of violence. Nevertheless, his visit certainly provoked unrest in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Almost 17 years have since passed. On Aug. 29, two years after Knesset members were banned from visiting the Temple Mount for reasons of security, Yehuda Glick of Likud and Shuli Mualem of HaBayit HaYehudi ventured there, the first parliamentarians to do so during a trial period agreed to by the police and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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