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Record number of Jews ascend Temple Mount on Tisha B'Av

Marking the day when according to Jewish tradition both Jerusalem temples were destroyed, some 2,200 Jews visited the Temple Mount Aug. 7.
Ultra-nationalist Knesset member Itamar Ben-Gvir arrives at the Temple Mount on Tisha B'Av, Jerusalem, Aug. 7, 2022.

Israeli Police prevented Aug. 7 outbursts of violence in Jerusalem, when a record number of Jews ascended the Temple Mount. Over the past few years, a growing number of Israeli Jews has been visiting the area on Tisha B’Av, a day of fasting that marks the destruction of the two Jerusalem temples. With close to 2,200 Jewish visitors, this year's Tisha B'Av was one of the busiest days since the 1967 Six-Day War, when Israel regained control of the area. The current record for most visitors in a single day was registered in May this year, on Jerusalem Day, which marks the reunification of the city, when some 2,600 Jews went up to the Temple Mount. Last year, 1,600 Jews visited on Tisha B’Av.

Status quo regulations enable Jews to ascend the site on specific hours and under specific conditions; visitors are not allowed to pray there or to bring with them any religious books or artifacts. The majority of ultra-Orthodox religious leadership and many national-religious rabbis object to ascending the site, claiming Jews today are not pure to reach the holy place. Still, in the past decade, an increasing number of religious and secular Jews have gone up.

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