Can non-Muslim people from non-Muslim countries (EU) enter the part of Jerusalem where the famous mosque with yellow top is located?

Are the police (or guards) at the entrance Israeli or Palestinian?

Who is the owner and in control of the area between Jerusalem and East Jerusalem, which on map seems to be out of Israeli lands? What laws apply? Is there a border and passport control like crossing from one country to another?

3 Answers 3


Jerusalem is no longer divided (it was divided between Jordan and Israel between 1948 and 1967). Israel controls all of it, and there are no check points or border control anywhere in the city.

There are security checkpoints at the entrance to the Temple Mount, but they're there to keep the Israelis (and weapons) out, not the foreigners (as opposed to what you might have heard, even though Israelis control all of the city, it is the Israelis, Jews in particular, who are banned from the Temple Mount). Most tourist can get in without a problem. Dress accordingly. On Friday's, religious holidays or when there're some occasional security tensions and alerts, some restrictions may be in place (usually for the Israeli/Palestinian Muslims coming to pray, but may also affect tourists).

The yellow capped building is not the Al Aqsa mosque, its the Dome of the Rock and it's not a mosque at all. Al Aqsa mosque is the gray and unattractive building in the corner of the Temple Mount compound, right on top of the Western Wall.

  • 1
    Also very importantly, how is the travel between Jerusalem and Mount Scopus in between which there seems to be land out of Israel on map? Thank you very much.
    – Phil
    Mar 28, 2012 at 11:09
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    @Phil: I think you should ask that as a question on its own.
    – user766
    Mar 28, 2012 at 11:48
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    For purposes of visiting, treat the Dome of the Rock as a mosque. It's a Muslim holy site, and you will need to dress appropriately and behave appropriately if you visit it. Mar 28, 2012 at 13:54
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    @Phil its not a mosque, initially it was built to cover the "rock" - the piece of the mountain from which Muhammad was believed to jump to the sky with his horse. Accidently he is believed to do so on the same rock where Abraham almost sacrificed Isaak, and the same place is also believed to be the Temple sanctuary. It may be used for prayer, but the center of the building is what it is about, while mosques generally built for prayers to face Mecca. That's not the case for the Dome of the Rock.
    – littleadv
    Mar 28, 2012 at 17:32
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    @Imray of course they're in control. Waqf manages the area, but the police can enter any time, and does so to restore order on many occasions. Jews are not allowed for political reasons. Even this very week an Israeli politician (religious one, mind you) was not allowed to enter by the police because last time it happened the Arabs used it as an excuse to start a war.
    – littleadv
    Mar 7, 2013 at 22:55

The Dome of the Rock is located on the Temple Mount. The Temple Mount is located in the old city of Jerusalem. The Temple Mount can be visited and you don't need a special permit for this.

There are a couple of gates in the old city of Jerusalem. All the gates are controlled by the Israeli police. These are security checks. However If you are not a Muslim you do have to enter the site through the "Bab al-Maghariba". This gate is located on the Western Wall Plaza. In fact if you are standing in front of the Western Wall, it is the covered bridge you can see on your right hand side. You have to pass through metal detectors and bags are x-rayed. Note that you can exit the Temple Mount through one of the other gates.

The Temple Mount is a highly religious site. Thus some decent dress is required.

  • I believe the bridge has been closed for renovations (or going to be closed soon), so the entry should be from the old city, but better check when there what's the current status.
    – littleadv
    Mar 27, 2012 at 22:21

In addition to the other answers: during Ramadan we were not allowed to enter Temple Mount.

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    Who is the "we" that you are talking about? Mar 28, 2012 at 13:55
  • A friend and me... How is this related to the question?
    – Simon
    Mar 28, 2012 at 15:41
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    If you don't say who you are, the questioner couldn't reasonably deduce whether it applied to him or not. Mar 28, 2012 at 16:40
  • Yes, DJ is right. I was looking at the subject from the perspective of an non-muslim non-muslim-nation eu citizen. ;-) Thank you.
    – Phil
    Mar 28, 2012 at 19:28
  • Well, non-muslim EU-citizen
    – Simon
    Mar 29, 2012 at 5:28

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