Rabbis: Israel Must Maintain Sovereignty over Temple Mount
Israel's top religious authority insisted Sunday that Judaism's holiest site, the Temple Mount, must remain under Israeli sovereignty, despite reported US proposals that Israel cede the area to the Palestinians.
"The Jewish people's right to the Temple Mount is indefeasible," said Israel Lau, the head rabbi for the country's Ashkenazi Jews.
"To renounce this right would be to renounce the right of a Greater Israel founded on the Bible," Lau said, quoted by the Itim news agency.
The Temple Mount site is also the third holiest place for Muslims, who call it Haram al-Sharif, or the Noble Sanctuary. Weeks of Palestinian riots broke out September 28 after a visit to the site by Israeli hardliner Ariel Sharon.
The chief rabbinate issued its statement after reports that US President Bill Clinton was proposing Israel hand the Palestinians sovereignty of the Temple Mount in exchange for a renunciation of Palestinian refugees' right of return -- JERUSALEM (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)