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Police selectively enforcing law on Temple Mount, detainee unconditionally released

Monday, April 29, 14:58 In a deliberation on Thursday, April 25 the Jerusalem Magistrate Court made a precedent making decision specifically stating that the State is discriminating against Jews on the Temple Mount. The ruling is quite relevant in light of the announcement that the Prime Minister has prohibited Knesset member Moshe Feiglin from entering the Temple Mount. On Thursday, April 25 A., a 56 year old Jew who is accustomed to going up onto the Temple Mount from time to time after completing the mandatory purification rites, went onto the Temple Mount as is his custom. At the entrance A. passed the stringent security check and received the standard briefing: It is forbidden for Jews to act in anyway related to prayer or to make any action likely to disturb public order on the Temple Mount. During A.’s visit on the Temple Mount while he was surrounded by policemen and Waqf personnel a group of 30 Arab women approached him, calling out “Allah hu akbar”. After the women came very close to him and continued their menacing calls A. replied to them with his own call, “Mohammad died”, referring to the founder of Islam. The policemen who had accompanied him the entire time and had chosen not to distance the disruptive women, ordered A. to leave the Temple Mount so as not to cause a clash. A. was later detained on a claim that he had disturbed public order on the Temple Mount with his call. A. was subsequently brought to the Jerusalem Magistrate Court where the police requested that A. be banned from entering the Temple Mount for 60 days on the charge of disturbing public order with his offensive call. In response to the police representative who said that the detainee received a briefing instructing him not to make any actions that would disturb public order when he entered the Temple Mount, the Honenu attorney representing A. asked if the disruptive women had received a briefing of that sort. The police representative was forced to admit that only Jews receive the briefing. The attorney pleaded that the situation in which the women who provoked and attempted to threaten the detainee where not detained even though their identities are well known to the police whereas his client was detained is absurd. Also the attorney pleaded that the call “Mohammad is dead” is not offensive. “After I received the request to handle this case I took a survey of five Muslim lawyers and passers-by. I asked them all if Mohammad had died and they all replied in the affirmative: according to Islam Mohammad died and is buried in Medina, Saudi Arabia,” said the Honenu attorney. The group of Arab women who provoked the detainee are known as “Murbitat” and are known to the police as a group of ideological woman who protest against Jews entering the Temple Mount. This is not the first time that the women have been involved with such a provocation. Judge Gad Ehrenberg accepted the plea and agreed that the Arab women provoked the detainee and therefore there is no basis for the restrictive conditions which the police requested to impose on him. The judge based his ruling also on the selective enforcement of the law by the police and wrote in his decision, “Indeed the defendant’s representative was correct in his plea, according to which there was selective enforcement [of the law]…. the provocateurs were the women and not the defendant… in light of the selective enforcement [of the law], apparently not for the first time, I found no cause for placing restrictions on his release.” The detainee was unconditionally released to his home. Honenu welcomes this important decision. “The policy of the police on the Temple Mount constitutes one of the most striking centers of discrimination in the State of Israel. We hope that this ruling by the Jerusalem Magistrate Court which has brought this serious problem to the public’s notice will be an positive influence and constitute the beginning of rectifying the embarrassing situation in which it is forbidden for Jews to freely and safely walk and all the more so to pray on what has been the holiest site of the Jewish people for thousands of years.”

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