'Sad situation on Temple Mount 49 years later'

Rabbi arrested for asking Arab officer who pushed Jews to identify himself; youth who said 'amen' to well-wishes for Jewish people arrested.

Ari Yashar,

Rabbi arrested on Jerusalem Day
Rabbi arrested on Jerusalem Day

Israel may have liberated the Temple Mount in Jerusalem in the 1967 Six Day War, but two shocking arrests at the holiest site in Judaism on Jerusalem Day (Sunday) illustrate the harsh reality for Jews at the site exactly 49 years later.

In one incident, a rabbi and grandfather from the Binyamin district of Samaria who is the head of a midrasha religious study institute was arrested shortly before afternoon at the exit of the Temple Mount.

The arrest followed after police officers started pushing a group of Jews who began singing on Chain Gate Street, after having left the Temple Mount grounds.

According to a report that reached the Honenu legal aid organization, the rabbi tried to receive details on the identity of an Arab police officer who according to members of the group pushed them.

However, when the rabbi asked the officer to identify himself, he responded by shoving the rabbi with great force and arresting him, accusing him of hitting an officer.

The rabbi was dragged from the site as the Arab officer twisted his arm and handcuffed him.

A Honenu attorney was dispatched to the police station in order to help the rabbi.

Earlier on Jerusalem Day on Sunday, a young Jewish man was detained on the Temple Mount after he said the word "amen."

The youth responded "amen" to well-wishes for the Jewish people given by Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, the head of the Temple Institute who took part in liberating the Temple Mount in 1967 as a paratrooper.

Sometime later the youth was released, although the police told him they forbid him from ascending the Mount again until a hearing is held in which he would be made to obligate himself to observe the strict guidelines for Jewish visitors to the site.

Those guidelines, forbidding Jews from praying at their holiest site or even giving the appearance of praying, are implemented by the police on the orders of the Jordanian Waqf, which maintains de facto control of the Mount despite its 1967 liberation.

"It is sad that this is the situation on the Temple Mount 49 years after its liberation from the Jordanians," read a statement by the Honenu organization, which is providing legal assistance to the youth as well.

"The rights of Jews are roughly trampled, even while Muslims rioters and Waqf members do whatever they please on the Mount."