Court Decision on Activist Yehudah Glick Upholds Jewish Prayer at Temple Mount
JNS.org – The attorney for Jewish activist Yehudah Glick says the Jerusalem Magistrate Court’s decision on Sunday has upheld the right of Jews to pray at the Temple Mount.
Although Israel gained eastern Jerusalem along with its holy sites from Jordan during the 1967 Six Day War, the Temple Mount is being administered by the Islamic Waqf, a Muslim trust overseen by Jordan that limits non-Muslim visitation and bans Jewish prayer. Israel, however, provides security to the site.
In recent months, an increase in Jewish visitors has led by activist groups calling for greater Jewish access to the Temple Mount.
While Israel’s Supreme Court has also upheld the Jewish right for prayer at the site in principle, that court left security services the option to continue blocking non-Muslim prayer if they deem it to be a security concern by instigating violence.
Sunday’s ruling was spurred by Glick, who had brought a lawsuit against Israeli police for banning him from the site due to videos showing him praying at the site. Glick was also wounded last year in an assassination attempt by a Palestinian terrorist.
Judge Malka Aviv said “there is nothing in the deeds of the plaintiff [Glick] that justified in any way the punishment that he received,” and awarded Glick NIS 500,000 in damages and NIS 150,000 in legal costs.
The police must legally “ensure that Jews are able to pray on the Temple Mount, and not to act sweepingly to prevent Jews from praying on the Temple Mount,” the judge also said.
Glick’s attorney Aviad Visoly said that “essentially, the court took the ruling of the Supreme Court regarding the right of Jews to pray at the Temple Mount, and implemented it in practice,” the Jerusalem Post reported.
However, doubts remain whether this ruling would actually lead to Jewish prayer being allowed at the site in practice, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterating last year his commitment to maintaining the status-quo on the issue.