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Six Jews detained for praying on Temple Mount

Wednesday, May 8, 11:57 On the morning of Wednesday, May 8, Jerusalem Day, in two separate incidents on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem six Jews were detained on charges of prostrating themselves, thereby violating the police order by which it is forbidden for Jews to pray or perform any action relating to prayer on the Temple Mount. The detainees were taken to the Kisheh Police Station in the Old City of Jerusalem. Honenu is handling their case and strongly criticizes the discriminatory police conduct concerning Jews on the Temple Mount, particularly on Jerusalem Day, which marks the reunification of the city: “Especially on Jerusalem Day, there is no larger disgrace than this.” Many Jews wish to fulfill their longing for the Holy Temple by visiting the site, particularly on Jerusalem Day, the 28th of Eyar (this year May 8), the day on which the Old City of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount, was reunified with the rest of Jerusalem during the Six Day War. On the morning of Jerusalem Day several groups went up onto the Temple Mount after completing the requisite purification rites and toured the site. As always their entry to the Temple Mount was preceded by explicit instructions from the police not to pray and not to ‘disturb the feelings of the Muslims’ on the site. It should be noted that the Arabs entering the Temple Mount do not receive any briefing whatsoever from the police. Jewish groups are always accompanied by policemen and personnel of the Waqf who closely monitor their actions. During the tour of a group of Jews which entered the Temple Mount at approximately 9:30 A.M. one of the members prostrated himself on the ground. Waqf personnel who were on the scene alerted the police who detained him. The detainee was taken to the Kishleh Police Station in the Old City of Jerusalem. Later another Jewish group entered the Temple Mount and at the end of their tour, near the Chain Gate, all of the approximately 20 members of the group prostrated themselves on the ground and said a few words of prayer. After finishing their prayer the group began to leave the Temple Mount. According to eye witnesses even though the members of the group were leaving of their own volition policemen on the scene decided to violently remove them from the site. Subsequently the police detained five randomly chosen members of the group. The detainees were taken to the Kishleh Police Station. A Honenu attorney is handling the case. Honenu stated in response to the detentions that, “This is an unparalleled injustice. Particularly on the day on which the reunification of Jerusalem is celebrated the ‘Israeli’ Police chose to enforce discriminatory laws against Jews on the Temple Mount, their holiest site. For many years the Jewish People became accustomed to the Land of Israel being under foreign rule and Jews being discriminated against on their holiest sites. Currently the heads of the supposedly Jewish state have taken on the discriminatory policies.”

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