An Israeli government official says Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has barred all Cabinet ministers and Jewish lawmakers from visiting a sensitive Jerusalem holy site.

The official says Netanyahu imposed the ban because of concerns that any high profile visits there could spark further violence. The official spoke on condition of anonymity under regulations.

The Jerusalem hilltop compound lies at the heart of recent tensions. It's revered by Muslims as the spot where Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven and by Jews as the site of the two Jewish biblical Temples.

Many Palestinians believe Israel is trying to expand Jewish presence at the site, a claim Israel adamantly denies. Under a longstanding arrangement administered by Islamic authorities, Jews are allowed to visit the site during certain hours but not pray there.