Minors detained over praying at Temple Mount gates

Updated: May 19

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

Temple Mount, aerial view

Tuesday, May 4, 2021, 13:48 Five young women, minors, were detained while Circling the Gates of the Old City of Jerusalem and praying at the gates to the Temple Mount on the afternoon of Sunday, May 2. Near the Cotton Merchants’ Gate, policemen decided to detain them, claiming that they had violated public order and prevented Muslim worshipers from passing, although the street was of normal width and there was no prohibition against being there. Several of the minors, one of them a thirteen-year-old, were injured during the detention. Additionally, one of them was handcuffed in public and led in handcuffs through the city in full view of passers-by, which is illegal according to the Youth Law. When they reached the police station, the minors were interrogated without the presence of their parents, which is also illegal. When Honenu Attorney Nati Rom, who is representing the minors, confronted the police representative regarding the interrogations, she claimed that an officer had authorized them, which is completely false. The following day, at the Jerusalem Juvenile Court, the police demanded an order distancing the minors from the Old City of Jerusalem for 180 days. Judge Adi Bar-Tal rejected the demand and distanced them from the Cotton Merchants’ Gate for 15 days. The minors were also obligated to sign on a third-party guarantee. During the deliberation, the judge censured the police: “It is not clear why the parents [of the minors] were not summoned to the [police] station. The petitioner must be scrupulously careful in this matter and not begin the interrogation of minors before their parents arrive at the station, unless explicit permission has been granted, which I did not find in this case.” Honenu Attorney Nati Rom, who is representing the minors: “There is a large body of court rulings which permit Jewish prayer in Jerusalem, including in the specific situation of the minors who were detained. It is unfortunate that the Israeli Police detained the minors, injuring some of them, one of them a thirteen-year-old, and also severely violated their rights. The police violated the Youth Law by handcuffing one of the minors in public and by not having the minors’ parents present during their interrogation. Furthermore, the police claimed that they had not tried to contact the parents because they had authorization from an officer, which they did not have. The minors are standing up for their rights to freedom of worship and freedom of movement. It is sad to see that the Israeli Police chose to detain them instead of ensuring their safety and their rights.”

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