60-day distancing order for Temple Mount detainees
Thursday, December 29, 2016, 15:51 Jerusalem Magistrate Court Judge Miriam (Mika) Banki imposed a light 15-day distancing order on a Muslim Waqf member accused of assaulting a Jew prostrating himself on the Temple Mount. The assaulted Jew and another Jew who was with him, who was accused of assault, were distanced for 60 days, after being held overnight in remand. On the morning of Wednesday, December 28 a group of yeshiva students ascended the Temple Mount and near the exit to the Temple Mount one of them prostrated himself. According to the police, in response, a member of the Muslim Waqf personnel kicked him in the stomach and shouted, “This site is ours.” The student was detained. A disturbance broke out during which one of the other students was detained on suspicion of assaulting a Waqf member and accidentally hitting a policeman. The detainees were held in remand overnight and brought to a deliberation at the Jerusalem Magistrate Court in the morning. The police demanded that all three detainees be distanced from the Temple Mount for 180 days and post 1,000 NIS bail. The police also demanded that the detained Waqf member be banned from contacting other Waqf members for 180 days and that the detained yeshiva students be banned from contacting the other students for 180 days. The police did not differentiate between the detainees. However Judge Banki did when imposing the much lighter 15 day distancing order on the Waqf member. Judge Banki also did not differentiate between the Jewish student accused of merely prostrating himself and the Jewish student accused of assault. The judge based her decision on the fact that the Muslim Waqf member is a Jerusalem resident and the Jewish detainees are not. Honenu Attorney Ze’ev Wolf, who represented the yeshiva students, announced that he will file an appeal on the decision. “If an individual poses a danger which justifies distancing from the Temple Mount then it does not matter if he is a resident of Jerusalem or not,” said Wolf. “The court’s decision, with which I strongly disagree, is lenient with the assailant and severe with the victim. The message given encourages violence by Waqf personnel against Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount, and is also a seal of approval of their conducting themselves as owners of the site, and of portraying Jews as provocateurs, while in reality the Muslim Waqf personnel on the Temple Mount carry out violent provocations on a constant basis while Jews are forbidden to pray or even to go through the motions of prayer on the site most holy to them.” For a selection of cases in which Honenu attorneys represented Jews detained on or near the Temple Mount please see here.