Hozrim L'Har chairman distanced from the Temple Mount and detained

Updated: Apr 21


The petition

For a selection of cases in which Honenu Attorneys represented Jews detained on or near the Temple Mount please see here.

Thursday, April 14, 2022, 10:19 With the assistance of Honenu Attorney Yitzhak Bam, Raphael Morris, the chairman of the Hozrim L’Har (Returning to the [Temple] Mount) organization, petitioned the High Court of Justice to cancel an administrative order distancing him from the Temple Mount and the Old City of Jerusalem for a month and a half. The order is signed by the GOC of the Home Front Command, Major-General Ori Gordin. An urgent hearing was scheduled for 13:00 on Thursday.

On Wednesday night, Morris was detained at his home. It is not known if Morris will be released before the hearing or brought to the hearing from where he is being held in remand.

In the petition, Bam explains that there is no basis for the order: "Every year before Passover, many dozens, possibly hundreds of Jews, approach the Temple Mount with young goats intending to perform the Passover sacrifice. The organization of which the petitioner is the head numbers dozens of activists who attempt to ascend the Temple Mount on the fourteenth of Nisan in order to perform the sacrifice. It is expected that the police, as they do every year, unfortunately, will do everything that they can to prevent them from doing so also this year. These activists operate in non-violent ways in an effort to fulfill their right to freedom of worship at the site most holy to them.

"Even if the petitioner is distanced from the Temple Mount and from the Old City, this will not prevent the dozens and hundreds of other activists from coming to Jerusalem, to the Old City, and attempting to ascend the Temple Mount in order to perform the Passover sacrifice. The presence of the petitioner is not necessary for the 'provocative activity', cited in the order, and his absence will not prevent the activity of the movement for the sake of freedom of worship on the Temple Mount. Therefore, there is no rational connection between the means chosen and the goal that the GSS is attempting to achieve through the GOC [of the Home Front Command]. For these reasons, the honorable court is asked to accept the petition, to issue conditional orders, and after receiving responses from the respondents, to make the orders absolute."

Hozrim L'Har Chairman Raphael Morris, stated with regard to the distancing order that "every year, the State of Israel prevents Jews from performing the Passover sacrifice in its designated place on the Temple Mount. This is in addition to preventing Jewish worship on the Mount during the entire year. The police find various excuses for detaining Jews whose only fault is that they would like to fulfill the commandment of performing the Passover sacrifice according to Jewish law. Time after time, they are unceremoniously thrown out of court.

"This year, the police went so far as to serve me with an administrative distancing order – without evidence and without a trial – designed to prevent me from fulfilling the commandment of the holiday that we are all obligated to fulfill. We will continue to fight until the Passover sacrifice and the rest of the sacrifices are reinstated, and the Holy Temple is built at its site on the Temple Mount," said Morris.

Honenu Attorney Itzhak Bam: "The administrative order that was issued is based on Defense Regulations (time of emergency) dating from the British Mandate [of Palestine] and is designed to quell the legitimate public activity of Raphael Morris for the sake of freedom of worship on the Temple Mount. We are of the opinion that the use of administrative orders should be reserved solely for situations in which there is a substantial concern of use of violence on the part of the recipient of the order. In a state that claims to maintain a democratic regime that respects the rights of individuals there should be no use of administrative orders to quell legitimate and non-violent public activities.

"If there is concern that Arabs will riot following an attempt to perform the Passover sacrifice, the rioters should be dealt with. Those wishing to realize their right to freedom of religion should not be harassed."


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