Jewish visitors on Temple Mount
Jewish visitors on Temple MountZac Wajsgras/Flash90

In a landmark decision, High Court judges accepted a petition submitted by the Honenu legal aid organization and stated that issuing restraining orders prohibiting entry of Jews into the Temple Mount is illegal.

The ruling, issued by judges Danziger, Shoham and Solberg, referred to a petition submitted by attorney Menashe Yado of the Honenu organization which offers legal aid to soldiers and civilians involved in legal conflicts with the State. The petition was submitted in the name of two Jews who went up to the Temple Mount but were stopped by police and told that they could not enter the Mount before a hearing took place on the matter.

The hearing itself is against police regulations and the restraining orders issued are also unauthorized by police regulations and by law. The police demanded that the petitioners sign a draconian list of commitments or they would refuse to let them enter the Temple Mount Compound.

During the course of the hearing attorney Aviad Wisoly obtained access to police regulations regarding restraining orders and discovered that they were not implemented and that the police ignored them on a daily basis.

in response to the petition, the police reneged on their position and allowed the two petitioners to ascend to the Temple Mount without any preconditions. The State announced that it intended to change the regulations and draft a new commitment, but in the meantime Yado claimed that the State should defray the costs of the petition.

The High Court accepted this position and stated that the restraining orders issued by police were illegal, ruling that the state should defray court costs of 5,000 shekels to the petitioners.

Attorney Yado responded to the ruling by stating that "This is an important ruling which proves that the Israeli police acted in contravention of the law and regulations, but it is like saying the emperor has no clothes. It was clear for years that we have been fighting this illegal conduct, but unfortunately we faced an indifferent and unreceptive police, Jerusalem District Prosecutor and High Court division. These three combined to hide the regulations from the public and now the court has declared in favor of the rule of law in the State of Israel."

The Honenu organization stated that it hoped the court would compensate all those who were illegally prevented from ascending to the Temple Mount and that police would stop preventing Jews from exercising the freedom to pray in their holiest site.