On Sept/28/2000, Ariel Sharon, leader of the nationalist opposition party Likud, visited the area near to the Al-Aqsa mosque (one of the most venerated by the Muslims). President Clinton had promised that, in the frame of an agreement, the Jews would be able to visit the Temple Mount. Ariel Sharon wanted to “test” said promise.
Israel’s Prime Minister, Ehud Barak, believed that by approving the visit he could neutralize the opposition by demonstrating that the government assured such a sensitive subject. “Barak ordered the chief of Shabak, Ami Ayalin, to inform and request approval from Jibril Rajoub, with a special request to facilitate a pleasant visit [...] Rajoub promised that this would happen as long as Sharon abstained from entering in any mosque or praying in public [...] A group of Palestinian dignitaries protested the visit, as well as three Arab representatives in the Knesset. With the dignitaries observing from a safe distance, the Shabab (youth mob) threw rocks and tried to surpass the Israeli security to reach Sharon and his surroundings [...] However, Sharon’s behavior was dignified and calm. He did not pray, did not give any declarations, nor did anything that could be interpreted as offensive to the Muslims’ sensitivity...” Later, and considering what had happened, the chief of the Palestinian Security in the West Bank, Jibril Rajoub, negated that he had effectively promised what he had really promised. Many Israeli analysts affirm that the terrorist attacks began earlier. A day before Sharon’s visit, on Sept/27/2000, the Israeli Sargent David Biri was murdered by a house bomb in Gaza. Currently, very few journalists argue that the Second Intifada began by Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount.