Daily Israel Report

Activists Arrested for Bowing on Temple Mount

Despite a police ban on Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, MK Michael Ben Ari and two other men bowed in prayer on the site.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 5/20/2012, 1:36 PM

Michael Ben Ari
Michael Ben Ari
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Knesset Member Michael Ben Ari (National Union) and a few dozen activists celebrated Jerusalem Day by going up to the Temple Mount Sunday morning and asked to pray on the site.

Unlike the activists who kept their prayers short, Ben Ari threw himself down full length on to the ground of the Temple Mount as part of the prayer.

According to those who were with the lawmaker, the Arab bystanders did not respond to Ben Ari's action. “We scare ourselves for nothing,” said the MK. “Arabs understand what leftists do not understand. We have a right to pray on the Mount.”

Although the Arab security force on the site tried to arrest the MK and two other activists, Ben Ari refused to cooperate, insisted on his diplomatic immunity and claimed his right to pray on the site.

Earlier, those who went up to the Temple Mount explained the decision to do so especially on this day as a desire “to bring loyalty to the holiest site in Jerusalem” as they defined it.

At 3:00 p.m. Sunday, thousands of people are expected to march around and through the Old City of Jerusalem in the traditional flag march marking the reunification of the ancient capital.

The route of the march will once again pass through the Muslim Quarter, despite last year's disturbances, after having been confirmed by the Commissioner of Police.

On Sunday evening, celebrants will gather at the Yeshiva Merkaz HaRav Kook for an assembly with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, government ministers, Knesset members, honored rabbis and various other public figures.

Arutz Sheva's Israel National News will broadcast live video from the celebration.