World

Official: Israeli leader bars ministers, lawmakers from visiting sensitive Jerusalem holy site

  • AP10ThingsToSee - A Palestinian uses a slingshot during clashes following a demonstration in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Monday, Oct. 5, 2015. Two Palestinian youths were killed in clashes with Israeli soldiers in the West Bank on Monday as fears spread of a further escalation in violence that has already killed several Israeli civilians and wounded hundreds of Palestinian protesters over the previous days. (AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi)

    AP10ThingsToSee - A Palestinian uses a slingshot during clashes following a demonstration in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Monday, Oct. 5, 2015. Two Palestinian youths were killed in clashes with Israeli soldiers in the West Bank on Monday as fears spread of a further escalation in violence that has already killed several Israeli civilians and wounded hundreds of Palestinian protesters over the previous days. (AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi)  (The Associated Press)

  • Israeli police check the papers of a Palestinian woman in Jerusalem's Old City Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015.  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has barred all Cabinet ministers and lawmakers from visiting a sensitive Jerusalem holy site, fearing any high-profile spectacle could further enflame tensions that have gripped the country for weeks, an Israeli official said Thursday. 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. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

    Israeli police check the papers of a Palestinian woman in Jerusalem's Old City Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has barred all Cabinet ministers and lawmakers from visiting a sensitive Jerusalem holy site, fearing any high-profile spectacle could further enflame tensions that have gripped the country for weeks, an Israeli official said Thursday. 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. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)  (The Associated Press)

  • Israeli police stands guard at the entrance to Al-Aqsa compound in Jerusalem's Old City Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015.  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has barred all Cabinet ministers and lawmakers from visiting a sensitive Jerusalem holy site, fearing any high-profile spectacle could further enflame tensions that have gripped the country for weeks, an Israeli official said Thursday. 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. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

    Israeli police stands guard at the entrance to Al-Aqsa compound in Jerusalem's Old City Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has barred all Cabinet ministers and lawmakers from visiting a sensitive Jerusalem holy site, fearing any high-profile spectacle could further enflame tensions that have gripped the country for weeks, an Israeli official said Thursday. 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. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)  (The Associated Press)

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.