The Temple Mount, known in Hebrew as Har HaBáyit () or as Har HaMōriyā () and in Arabic as the Haram al-Sharif (, al-ḥaram al-qudsī ash-šarīf), the Noble Sanctuary, is one of the most important religious sites in the Old City of Jerusalem. It has been used as a religious site for thousands of years. At least four religious traditions are known to have made use of the Temple Mount: Judaism, Christianity, Roman religion, and Islam. The present site is dominated by three monumental structures from the early Umayyad period: the al-Aqsa Mosque, the Dome of the Rock and the Dome of the Chain. Herodian walls with additions dating back to the late Byzantine and early Islamic periods cut through the flanks of the Mount. It can be ascended via four gates, with guard posts of Israeli police in the vicinity of each. Traditions often identified it with two biblical mountains of uncertain location: Mount Moriah where the story of the binding of Isaac is set, and Mount Zion where the original Jebusite fortress stood; however, both interpretations are disputed. The Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism, which regards it as the place where God’s divine presence is manifested more than any other place. According to the rabbinic sages whose debates produced the Talmud, it was from here the world expanded into its present form and where God gathered the dust used to create the first human, Adam. Since at least the first century CE, the site has been associated in Judaism with the location of Abraham’s binding of Isaac, a tradition assimilated by Islam, which however later identified the site of that ritual with Mecca. According to the Bible, both Jewish Temples stood at the Temple Mount, though there is no proof for the first temple. However, the identification of Solomon’s Temple with the area of the Temple Mount is widespread. According to the Bible the site should function as the center of all national life—a governmental, judicial and, of course, religious center. During the Second Temple period it functioned also as an economic center. According to Jewish tradition and scripture (2 Chronicles 3:1-2), the first temple was built by King Solomon the son of King David in 957 BCE and destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BCE. The second was constructed under the auspices of Zerubbabel in 516 BCE and destroyed by the Roman Empire in 70 CE. Afterwards the site remained undeveloped for six centuries, until the Arab conquest. Jewish tradition maintains it is here a Third and final Temple will also be built. The location is the holiest site in Judaism and is the place Jews turn towards during prayer. Due to its extreme sanctity, many Jews will not walk on the Mount itself, to avoid unintentionally entering the area where the Holy of Holies stood, since according to Rabbinical law, some aspect of the divine presence is still present at the site. It was from the Holy of Holies that the High Priest communicated directly with God. Among Sunni Muslims, the Mount is widely considered the third holiest site in Islam. Revered as the Noble Sanctuary (Bayt al-Maqdes or Bayt al-Muqaddas) and the location of Muhammad’s journey to Jerusalem and ascent to heaven, the site is also associated with Jewish biblical prophets who are also venerated in Islam (Quran 2:4, 34:13-4). After the Muslim conquest of Jerusalem in 637 CE, Umayyad Caliphs commissioned the construction of the al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock on the site. The Dome was completed in 692 CE, making it one of the oldest extant Islamic structures in the world, after the Kaabah. The Al Aqsa Mosque rests on the far southern side of the Mount, facing Mecca. The Dome of the Rock currently sits in the middle, occupying or close to the area where the Holy Temple previously stood. In light of the dual claims of both Judaism and Islam, it is one of the most contested religious sites in the world. Since the Crusades, the Muslim community of Jerusalem has managed the site as a Waqf, without interruption. As the site is part of the Old City, controlled by Israel since 1967, both Israel and the Palestinian Authority claim sovereignty over it, and it remains a major focal point of the Arab–Israeli conflict. In an attempt to keep the status quo, the Israeli government enforces a controversial ban on prayer by non-Muslims.