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May 25, 2022 4:40 pm
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Israeli Appeal Court Quashes Ruling on Jewish Prayer at Temple Mount

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

Jewish visitors gesture as Israeli security forces secure the area at the compound that houses Al-Aqsa Mosque, known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount, in Jerusalem’s Old City, May 5, 2022. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

An Israeli appeal court overturned on Wednesday a ruling by a lower magistrate who had questioned the legality of barring Jewish prayer at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Under a decades-old “status quo” arrangement with Muslim authorities, Israel allows Jews to visit only if they refrain from religious rites.

Three Jewish youths who received a restraining order after praying at the site successfully challenged the police decision at Jerusalem Magistrates Court, which ruled on Sunday that their actions had not constituted a breach of the peace.

That prompted protests from the Palestinian leadership, threats from Palestinian militants and a pledge from Israel that the status quo would be preserved.

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The state filed a counter-appeal on Wednesday with Jerusalem District Court, which found in favor after nightfall.

“The special sensitivity of the Temple Mount cannot be overstated,” Judge Einat Avman-Moller said in her ruling.

A right to freedom of Jewish worship there “is not absolute, and should be superseded by other interests, among them the safeguarding of public order,” she said.

In a statement to Reuters before Wednesday’s ruling, Nati Rom, a lawyer for the defendants, said: “It is strange and regrettable that, in the 21st century, in a Jewish and democratic country, the basic human rights of Jews would be so harmed.”

Tensions in Jerusalem have been mounting ahead of a flag march due to be held by nationalist Jews in Jerusalem’s Old City on Sunday, marking its capture by Israel in a 1967 war.

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