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Jerusalem: Third Temple March through Jerusalem

21Jun09 – Three MPT members witnessed a march throughout the Old City of Jerusalem today by members of the Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement. The march demonstrates their desire to erect a third temple on the Temple Mount, a spot held sacred in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, as the respective site of Abraham’s near sacrifice of Isaac.

Contemporary Judaism developed a belief from ancient scriptures that in total three Temples would be constructed. However, the location, the Temple Mount, is highly contested due to its added importance in Islam as the site where Mohammed ascended to Heaven. The Temple Mount also contains 2 of the holiest buildings in Islam: the Dome on the Rock, and the Al Aqsa mosque.

Once a month, the members of the Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement march through the quarters of the Old City to the Wailing Wall. They do not go up onto the Temple Mount, as many Orthodox Jews forbid it, believing the site should not be visited until the final temple is built.

Our MPT members witnessed the march outside of their hostel, in the Islamic Quarter of the Old City. The soldiers first cleared the street, and then the marchers came. One child, around the age of three, attempted to spit at one of the members of the Peace Team. In the Orthodox view, Jerusalem should be an all-Jewish city, and as MPT team members were sitting outside a convent, they were subject to harassment of this nature. Before the march began Israeli soldiers moved all spectators to an alley, and put them behind a security gate.

The march lasted for about thirty minutes. As far as the MPT team knew, there were no injuries reported. However, as MPT members talked with an employee of the hostel, they found that the march can cause a disturbance for citizens of the Old City on a monthly basis. During this particular march, the sign of the hostel had been ripped and torn down.

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