Suspected of praying on Temple Mount, weapon license revoked

Monday, October 12, 2015, 8:57 The Internal Security Ministry informed a 55 year old resident of the Old City of Jerusalem that her personal defense weapon license had been revoked by recommendation of the police because she is suspected of “praying on the Temple Mount”. The woman, Feiga Tavnes, has been a resident of the Old City of Jerusalem for approximately 35 years. For the past 35 years she has held a gun license and owned a pistol. She has never been investigated or encountered problems with law enforcement authorities. Following a recent visit to the Temple Mount, during a period when the incidence of terror attacks and murder has increased near her home, Tavnes has been required to deposit her pistol with the police. The reason given in a letter sent to her from the Internal Security Ministry is as follows: “Recommendation by the Israeli Police: The above-mentioned prayed on the Temple Mount and therefore due to the danger she poses we recommend that her [personal defense weapon] license be canceled.” Tavnes has never been investigated by the police for praying on the Temple Mount, and even if she had prayed, prayer is not legal grounds for revoking a gun license. In the past, Tavnes’s husband was stabbed near their home and in light of the Mayor of Jerusalem’s call for every license-holding citizen to carry his/her gun, the absurdity and injustice of the planned revocation only increases. During the week of Sunday, October 4, Honenu attorney Adi Kedar filed an urgent appeal with the Internal Security Ministry, demanding that the decision be canceled and the gun returned to Tavnes. “The recommendation by the Israeli Police is baseless and erroneous,” wrote Kedar in the appeal and demanded to be informed immediately of the authority in the police who recommended that Tavnes’s gun license be revoked. Kedar intends to file suit for harassment. “My client was not investigated about praying on the Temple Mount, and even if there was such a suspicion, it is completely irrelevant to holding a license for a weapon of personal defense.” Honenu attorney Adi Kedar: “This shocking case of abandoning Jews at such a difficult time is only the tip of the iceberg and reveals the on-going conduct of the Israeli Police and the Internal Security Ministry over the past few years in many cases in which gun licenses were revoked from residents of Jerusalem, Yehuda and Shomron. In many of these instances petitions to return the licenses were filed with the court and were accepted, however the lengthy process and the bureaucracy leave citizens without their weapons for a long time, sometimes over a year, and in doing so endanger them and their families. “It is important to remember that these citizens are residents of Yehuda and Shomron or neighborhoods in Jerusalem, which are, unfortunately, subject to frequent, sometimes daily terror attacks. We call on the Prime Minister and the appointed minister to reevaluate the conduct of the Internal Security Ministry on the subject of licensing weapons. I sincerely hope that until then humans lives will not be, G-d forbid, lost as a result of that conduct.”

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