Israeli lawmakers visit contested Jerusalem holy site

July 8, 2018 GMT

JERUSALEM (AP) — Two Israeli lawmakers have visited a flashpoint Jerusalem shrine after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly lifted a ban on Israeli parliamentarians entering the site.

Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel and Likud party member Sharren Haskel visited the hilltop compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, on Sunday.

The compound is considered the holiest site for Jews, the site of the two biblical Temples, and today is home to Al Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site. It is the emotional epicenter of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Netanyahu had instituted a ban on Israeli lawmakers visiting the site in November 2015 as a measure to ease tensions with the Palestinians.

Netanyahu’s office had no comment about the lawmakers’ visits.