Police to Pay Damages to Temple Mount Activist

Police to pay NIS 10,000 to youth falsely arrested and humiliatingly searched after ascending to Temple Mount on Independence Day.

Reut Hadar, Cynthia Blank,

Police officer stands guard near Temple Mount
Police officer stands guard near Temple Mount
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Israel Police have agreed to pay NIS 10,000 ($2,500) in compensation to a Temple Mount activist falsely arrested on Independence Day last year.

According to the activist's suit, he participated in an event sponsored by the "Return to the Mount" movement which works to bring a Jewish presence to Judaism's holiest site. 

At a certain point on the trip, the activist - a minor at the time - was taken by a police officer to a precinct in Jerusalem, where his bag was searched. Stickers saying "Surrender the Temple Mount" and "Kahane was right" were found. 

The young man was detained and forced to undergo a humiliating search at the police station. 

His lawyer, Itamar Ben-Gvir, later filed an appeal against the youth's detention and at 12:00 a.m. the court ordered his release under restrictive conditions. But despite the ruling, police did not release the youth until the morning. 

Initially requesting NIS 25,000 in compensation, Ben-Gvir, on behalf of the youth, argued the youth's detention was unwarranted, that his rights had been violated, and the search both demeaning and offensive. 

After a presentation of evidence, the police agreed to compensate the youth and a compromise was worked out between Ben-Gvir and Jerusalem District Attorney's Office prosecutor Moshe Willinger for a payment of NIS 10,000. 

"I hope that this case as well as many other cases end in the the plaintiffs being awarded damages from the police, or better yet, will directly affect Israeli police work," Ben-Gvir stated. "There is no place here for humiliating and abusive searches."