Police Arrest Temple Institute Director

While waiting in line to visit the Temple Mount on Sunday, Temple Institute Director Yehuda Glick was singled out and arrested.

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Hillel Fendel,

While waiting in line to visit the Temple Mount early Sunday afternoon, Temple Institute Director Yehuda Glick was suddenly singled out and arrested.  A police spokesman said he would look into the incident. 

Glick was standing together with hundreds of others, many of whom had been denied entry in the first round of Temple Mount visiting hours on Sunday morning and were told to return at 12:30 PM.  The Moslem Waqf [Islamic Trust] is very strict about enforcing the Mount's visiting hours for Jews, and closes the gates sharply at 10 AM, opens them again at 12:30 PM, and closes them for the day an hour later.

Around 1 PM, Glick, who stands out in a crowd with his full shock-red beard, was suddenly approached by policemen, who told him they wanted to question him about his acts of "instigation and provocation," and then promptly arrested him and led him to a paddywagon.  In court later this afternoon, the police asked the judge to distance him from the Temple Mount area for six months, for having prayed on the Mount. 

Finally, Sunday evening, he was brought before a judge, who ordered his immediate release. The judge stated emphatically that Jews' right to pray on the Temple Mount is legally guaranteed by the State of Israel to all Jews. 

Earlier Sunday morning, at the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City, hundreds of Jews were permitted by police to ascend to the Temple Mount, Judaism's most sacred site - but only in groups of 20.  Many were thus left waiting on line for hours.  

Lawyer: This is Harassment
Attorney Baruch Ben-Yosef told Arutz-7, "This is harassment, plain and simple, just because he has successfully brought many new people to the Temple Mount, and because of what happened last Wednesday. It is an outrage."

What occurred last Wednesday was that Glick similarly found himself among hundreds of Jews who were not allowed to enter the Mount.  The four policemen on duty at the time were unable to handle the large crowds, and delayed the entry until the hour of 1:30 PM, when they said they could do nothing and that everyone must leave.  Glick and others said they refused to leave - until large forces of Yassam riot police arrived and "began pushing," according to one eyewitness.

Richman: Police Know They Were Wrong
Rabbi Chaim Richman of the Temple Institute, who was also present at the time, told Arutz-7, "What is particularly infuriating about this arrest is that the police know that it was their own fault last Wednesday.  We coordinated the list of visitors with them in advance, just as they had asked, and yet they still were unable to deal with us."

"A number of weeks ago," Richman explained, "the police told us that if we want to have many holiday visitors, we should give them their names in advance, and that that would speed the process along. So that is what we did! We gave them a list of 500 names - including people with little children and strollers, and people who came from as far away as Haifa - and yet they just turned us down flat and didn't let us in!"

Rabbi Richman said that later that day, "two police officers spoke with Yehuda and myself, and very cordially admitted that they had been at fault, and said that we should have a meeting to straighten everything out - and now they come up  and arrest him!"

Jerusalem Police District spokesperson Shmulik Ben-Ruby told Arutz-7 said he was not aware of the incident and would look into the matter.  A later call to him was not returned.

Ironically, the police control the visits only of Jews who ascend "in sanctity," i.e., having taken the halahkic precautions (such as immersion in a ritual bath) prescribed by those rabbis who permit visiting the Mount.  Those who appear to be ascending as mere "tourists" are permitted to visit without restriction.