Temple Mount activists detained near Western Wall

Updated: Jun 1

Thursday, July 9, 2015, 8:22 On Wednesday, July 8 Jewish activists belonging to the “Hozrim LaHar” (Returning to the [Temple] Mount) organization arrived at the Western Wall Plaza in Jerusalem and loudly called out “Allah akbar” in protest of Jerusalem Magistrate Court Judge Gioia Skappa-Shapiro’s recent ruling. Judge Skappa-Shapiro ruled that Muslims are legally allowed to verbally abuse and yell “Allah akbar” at groups of Jews on the Temple Mount. Judge Skappa-Shapiro also ruled that closing the Temple Mount to Jews until the end of the month of Ramadan due to fears of disturbances is legal. After the incident, which occurred at the entrance to the Western Wall Plaza, a conversation about the situation on the Temple Mount started between the activists and visitors in the Plaza. Many Jews were surprised to discover that visits on the Temple Mount closely resemble the scene they had just witnessed, but with Muslims yelling at Jews. Contrary to Skappa-Shapiro’s decision and the manner with which the police on the Temple Mount treat Muslims yelling at Jews, the policemen who were summoned to deal with the “Hozrim LaHar” activists decided to detain six activists, male and female, on suspicion of disturbing public order. Honenu attorney Yitzhak Weiner arrived at the police station in order to provide legal counsel to the activists, who stated during their interrogation that their detention was illegal and constituted blatant discrimination on the part of the police. It was not until the evening that the activists were released on condition of a restraining order banning them from entering the Old City of Jerusalem for two weeks. For some of the detainees a deliberation will take place on Thursday, July 9 at which the court will rule on the restrictive conditions imposed on them. Honenu states that, “Today what we have claimed for a long time has been proven. The law enforcement authorities treat Jews with severe and blatant discrimination in the Old City [of Jerusalem] in general and on the Temple Mount in particular. It cannot be that Jews are detained for acts which the court ruled do not constitute violation of the law if they are carried out by Arabs.” Honenu will consider suing the police for false detention, and also appeal the restraining order imposed on the activists by the police. Raphael Morris, the head of the “Hozrim LaHar” movement stated in response that, “We carried out the act in response to the constant abuse of Jews by the police on the Temple Mount, and to the capitulation by the police to Arab terror, time after time. The Temple Mount was closed to Jews starting on Sunday, the fast day of the 17th of the month of Tammuz, due to rioting and shouts of “Allah akbar” by Muslims. “Closing the [Temple] Mount to Jews and preventing freedom of worship, specifically during the days of “Bein HaMeitzarim”, during which we mourn the destruction of the Holy Temple, is a finger poked in the weeping eye of the entire Jewish People. This constitutes crossing a red line in our opinion. “We call on Interior Minister Gilad Erdan and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to immediately open the Temple Mount Plaza to Jews and to use all available means in order to allow Jews to freely pray on the Temple Mount.” Please see videos of the incident here and here. Video credit: Hozrim LaHar

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