(AP/Mahmoud Illean)
Temple Mount

Palestinian guards on the Temple Mount were fired for supporting the Hamas terror group.

By Pesach Benson, United With Israel

Six Palestinian guards working on the Temple Mount have been expelled over their support for Hamas, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett revealed on Tuesday.

Bennett did not elaborate, but Hebrew media reports said that the six guards have been replaced by 12 others within the framework of current Israeli-Jordanian understandings.

The disclosure came as the Prime Minister’s Office denied media reports that Israel had acceded to Jordanian demands for an expanded presence at the Jerusalem holy site, including 70 additional security guards.

“There have been no changes or new developments at the Temple Mount,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement. “All decisions regarding the Temple Mount are made by the government of Israel and are based on considerations of sovereignty, freedom of religion and security – not under pressure from foreign or political actors.”

Amman says the extra guards will help curb Hamas influence. However, Israel and Jordan remain deadlocked over vetting the new personnel. Israel wants the Shin Bet to do background checks on any new guards, but Amman refuses to provide Jerusalem with the names of new Islamic Waqf personnel, Haaretzreported.

The Waqf is a trusteeship that administers that Temple Mount’s daily affairs while Israel retains sovereignty and security responsibility for the holy site. After capturing the Temple Mount during the Six-Day War of 1967, Defense Minister Moshe Dayan and Arab leaders agreed on this status quo.

The Waqf is overseen and funded by the Jordanian monarchy, whose oversight role is enshrined in the Israel-Jordan peace agreement of 1994.

The Waqf also oversees Jerusalem’s mosques, Islamic schools, religious courts, orphanages and museums. In 2017, the Times of Israel reported that the Waqf employs 900 people in Jerusalem.