Murabitat (defenders of the faith,[1] steadfast,[2] or garrison soldiers[3]) (“Murabitin”, "Mourabitoun" (males) and “Murabitat”, "Mourabitat" (females))[4][5] is an illegal Islamist[4] political movement of Muslim women, funded by the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel.[6][7] The group organises classes at Al Aqsa Mosque from learning how to read and write to university level and Islamic tajweed or the musical chanting of Quranic verses.

Following the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel left administrative oversight of the Temple Mount/al-Haram al-Shariff to Jordan, which delegates authority to the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf. Israel maintains security control. A status quo was declared where Muslims have been allowed to pray atop the compound while non-Muslims were allowed to visit unobstructed but not allowed to pray.[3][8] In this context, members of Murabitat movement also keep an eye on Jews visiting the compound and who would be "attempting to pray".[4] Women from the organisation disrupted several such attempts by shouting at the groups,[2] cursing,[4] and by physical assault.[7][4]


The parallel groups, Murabiton for men and Murabitat for women, were created by the northern branch of the Islamist group, Islamic Movement in Israel in 2012.[4][3] According to Haaretz, their purpose is "to harass Jews visiting Temple Mount."[4] The groups run a daily shuttle service between the concentration of Arab towns including Umm al-Fahm and Tayibe), that is called the Triangle, as well as from the Negev and the Galilee to the Temple Mount.[4]

According to Israeli security officials, before the male and female groups were banned and the offices of the NGO funding them closed, activists were paid 3,000–4,000 shekels ($771–$1,028) per month, with some of the funds coming from the Gulf States.[4]


According to Christian Broadcasting Network, the women are, "paid to harass female visitors to the Temple Mount even when they're modestly dressed."[9]

In August, 2015, the women harassed a group of visiting Members of the United States Congress, including Rep. Evan Jenkins, Rep. Trent Franks, Rep. Keith Rothfus and Mr. Jenkins' wife, Elizabeth Jenkins.[9] [10][6] Congressman Jenkins described himself as being, "struck by the level of intolerance and the confrontational attitudes and approach and actions" taken by the group."[10] He described the behavior of the Muslims on the Temple Mount that day as "shocking".[6]

Moshe Ya'alon, the Minister of Defense, has asserted that the groups' behavior leads, "to violence that could harm human life."[4]

Declared illegalEdit

In August 2015, the activists were banned from Temple Mount by Israeli Minister of Public Security, Gilad Erdan, during morning visiting hours.[7] Earlier, the Arab League condemned the plan to ban the group.[11] On September 8, 2015, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon signed an order which declared the Murabitat group as an illegal organization.[12][4]

Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib, head of the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf that administers the Temple Mount, called the decision, "totally unacceptable", asserting that the government of Israel had "no right" to intervene.[13]

External linksEdit


  1. ^ "Hardline Israelis anger Palestinians by trying to reclaim prayer rights at Jerusalem's most famous holy site". The Telegraph. January 7, 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Al-Aqsa's women resist". Al Monitor. October 27, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c Hadid, Diaa (9 September 2015). "Israel Bans 2 Muslim Groups That Protest at Jerusalem Holy Site". New York Times. Retrieved 10 September 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Cohen, Gili (9 September 2015). "Israel Bans Two Muslim Activist Groups From Temple Mount". Haaretz. Retrieved 10 September 2015.
  5. ^ "Foreign Ministry Condemns Calls to Ban Protesting Palestinians' Entry to Al-Aqsa Mosque". Wafa. 24 August 2015. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  6. ^ a b c Harkov, Lahav (11 August 2015). "Arabs harass US congressmen during visit to Temple Mount". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  7. ^ a b c "At Temple Mount gate, banned Muslim activists vent their anger". Times of Israel. September 3, 2015.
  8. ^ Gonen, Rivka (2003). Contested holiness : Jewish, Muslim, and Christian perspectives on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Jersey City (N. J.): KTAV. pp. 149-155. ISBN 9780881257984.
  9. ^ a b Barrow, Tzippe (12 August 2015). "Muslims Harass US Congressmen on Temple Mount". CBN. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  10. ^ a b Fields, Ben (13 August 2015). "Back in US, Jenkins recounts Israel temple incident". Herald Dispatch. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  11. ^ "Arab League slams Israel's attempts to ban Aqsa Mosque society". Palestinian Information Center. August 28, 2015.
  12. ^ "Defense Minister Outlaws Temple Mount Screamers". Arutz 7. September 9, 2015.
  13. ^ "Israel outlaws Palestinian groups at Aqsa compound". Ma'an News Agency. 9 September 2015. Retrieved 11 September 2015.