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Petition: Allow Temple Mount activists to protest

Sunday, July 12, 2015, 18:56 On Sunday, July 12 Honenu attorney Itzik Bam petitioned the Supreme Court of Israel following the refusal of the police to allow Temple Mount organizations to protest on Tuesday, July 14 at one of the gates to the Temple Mount. The organizers of the protest requested the right to protest closing the Temple Mount to Jews from the 17th of the month of Tammuz (July 4), the date which starts “Bein HaMeitzarim”, the three weeks during which the destruction of the Holy Temple is mourned, to the end of the Muslim month of Ramadan. The organizations also wanted to protest the treatment by the police of Jews ascending the Temple Mount. The July 14 date was chosen to mark one year since Muslim rioters torched the police station on the Temple Mount. Despite attempts by the organizers to coordinate the protest with the police, the police refused to allow the protest to take place opposite one of the gates to the Temple Mount and suggested the Jewish Quarter or Har Tzion as alternative sites. Initially the police had suggested holding the protest at Dung Gate and the relevant police officer even toured the site with a representative of the protesters in order to finalize authorization of the location. However a short time afterwards the officer retracted the authorization and stated that the Jerusalem District Commander refused to allow the protest to take place at Dung Gate. Honenu attorney Itzik Bam petitioned the Supreme Court with a demand to order the police to allow the protest to take place near the Temple Mount. Bam mentioned in his petition that the Supreme Court had at one time authorized Meretz activists to march on Shabbat on Bar Ilan Street, which is located in a hareidi neighborhood, and there is no cause to discriminate against Temple Mount activists. “It is sad to see that out of fear of Muslim rage the police violate the freedom of expression and the freedom of worship of Jews, time after time,” said Bam after filing the petition. “The police have chosen the easy way and instead of coping with rioting Muslims they prefer to prevent Jews from ascending the Temple Mount or protesting.” The various Temple Mount organizations denounce the attempts by the police to conceal their capitulation to violence and the persecution of Jews on the Temple Mount. “The attempts to prevent the protest are part of the policy of silencing and concealing from the media, the Knesset and the courts, violations of the law and disturbances of the peace which occur on the Temple Mount against Jews,” stated the protest organizers. “As if it was not enough that the government and the police banned Jews from the Temple Mount during two of the most significant weeks concerning the Temple Mount and [honoring the memory of the] Holy Temple, it cannot be that they ban us also from the gates [of the Temple Mount], which are simultaneously open and blocked.”

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