Police arrest 13 Jews for praying on Temple Mount


The worshipers violated court approved police directive barring Jewish worshipers from prayer on the Temple Mount plaza, for fear it may cause riots.

After a short interrogation the police released the men.

By Efrat Forsher and Israel Hayom Staff

Thirteen Jewish worshipers were arrested on Monday in the Temple Mount plaza, after the police said they were holding a prayer service on the premises in breach of security forces’ directives.

Police on the Temple Mount [Illustrative] – Photo: AP

According to the police, some in the group sang songs, danced and waved Israeli flags, while others bowed and prayed, in violation of a police directive that bars Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount.

While there is no law or government decision barring Jews from praying on the Temple Mount, the act often sparks riots by Muslim worshipers and is considered inflammatory by the police.

Several High Court of Justice petitions have been filed on the matter in the past by Jewish groups, who claim that keeping Jews from praying on the Temple Mount is in violation of laws guaranteeing freedom of worship, but the High Court has ruled that the police have discretion over the matter.

On Monday, three Jewish men who were praying and bowing were arrested initially. They were escorted out of the Temple Mount plaza and visits to the site continued as usual. Shortly afterward, 10 other men were arrested.

Following the arrests, Jerusalem District Police Commander Yossi Pariente ordered that the compound be closed to visitors.

After a short interrogation, two minors detained by the police were released, and the remaining 11 suspects were arraigned before the Jerusalem Magistrates’ Court. The police asked the court to remand them pending the conclusion of the investigation into the incident.

The group, with the help of an attorney provided to them by the Honenu Association, a right-wing legal aid organization, petitioned the court over the arrests. The petition was denied, but the men were released from police custody late Monday night.

Rabbi Yehuda Glick, of the joint headquarters of the Temple organizations, commented on the arrests, saying, “The police have declared war on Jews who wish to worship on Temple Mount.”

View original Israel Hayom publication at: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=12593