Falsely accused minor released

Sunday, July 17, 18:20 On Sunday, July 17, Jerusalem Magistrate Court Judge Keren Miller rejected the police demand to place a restraining order on a minor banning him from the Temple Mount for 15 days. The minor was detained on Thursday, July 14 when he walked near the Temple Mount. He wanted to ascend the Temple Mount through the Mughrabi Gate, but policemen claimed that he was banned from ascending the Temple Mount and that he must sign a document obligating himself to stringent restrictions relating to visiting the Temple Mount. He refused to sign and decided to Circle the Gates of the Old City of Jerusalem. When he reached the Iron Gate, he asked the policemen there if he could enter the Temple Mount. His request was denied and so he asked why Muslims are allowed to enter the Temple Mount and Jews are not. Other policemen who arrived on the scene asked him for his personal details and then informed him that he was detained due to an order banning him from entering the Temple Mount. The minor explained that as of the previous day the order was no longer in effect. He was taken to the police station and the policemen still did not admit their error. However when Honenu Attorney Rehavia Piltz arrived at the station he was told that despite the error the minor would be held in remand under suspicion of disturbing the public peace because of the questions he had asked the policemen. After several hours the minor was released and summoned to a deliberation which was held on Sunday, July 17, at which the police demanded that he be banned from entering the Temple Mount for 15 days. Judge Keren Miller ruled that the minor posed the questions as an act of protest, but they did not constitute a violation of the public peace, particularly since there were no other people, Jews or Arabs, nearby. Therefore she rejected the police demand. Honenu Attorney Rehavia Piltz, who represented the minor at the deliberation, stated that, “The police falsely detained a minor on suspicion that he had attempted to violate a legal order. After the police realized that the order was not valid, instead of apologizing, the policemen falsely accused him of disturbing the public peace. The court, despite the fact that a confidential report was filed on the minor by the police, refused the police demand and ruled that the minor had not disturbed the public peace. I hope that the courts will put a stop to the shameful treatment by the police of Temple Mount activists.” The Hozrim LaHar (Returning to the [Temple] Mount) organization of which the detained minor is a member responded to the detention: “The Israeli Police reach new lows every time with their persecution of individuals seeking the Holy Temple. Within one week two Jews were detained while Circling the Gates, and that is in violation of the Protection of Holy Place Law, which permits every individual to pray at holy sites. The police are clearly discriminating between Jews and Muslims and preferring to ingratiate themselves with the rioting Arabs. It is crazy that in the State of Israel Jews face discrimination and are restricted while Muslims walk freely. We will continue to Circle the Gates of the Temple Mount at any time, inside the walls and outside of them, and we call on all of Israel to join us. Together we will not surrender to the harassment by the police.” See Arbitrarily detained minor unconditionally released, for a post on the July 12 detention of a Hozrim LaHar activist.

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