The hidden goat
The hidden goatHozrim Lahar

Activists from the Hozrim Lahar (Return to the Mount) group, which advocates for religious freedom for Jews on the Temple Mount, were arrested on Wednesday at the entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem after one of them attempted to smuggle a goat in her dress.

Some Temple Mount activists commonly attempt to smuggle goats and sheep into the holy site, especially around Passover and "Second Passover" (Pesach Sheni), which fell out on Wednesday this year, in an attempt to renew the Temple sacrifices. The practice is widely criticized, even by other Temple Mount activists.

Upon searching the female suspect, police officers found that she hid a small goat in a box under her dress to make it appear as if she were pregnant. The goat was no longer alive and would seem to have died of asphyxiation.

The two suspects, a 25-year-old male from Jerusalem and a 17-year-old female from Beit Shemesh, were taken to the David Precinct for questioning, under the suspicion of actions that could disturb public order and animal abuse.

The Hozrim Lahar movement commented: "As it does every year, the Hozrim Lahar movement works to renew the Passover Sacrifice, instead of the police doing its job and allowing the freedom of worship allowed in democratic countries, the activists are forced to take extreme measures to try to do the mitzvah."

The movement alleged: "As it would appear in the attached video and from the police's statement, at the time of the arrest, the goat was alive, and after that, apparently at the police station, due to the police's failed treatment of the goat, the goat died and we are sorry for that. In addition, to prevent unfortunate cases like this in the future, we call on the Israeli government and police to allow and protect the sacrifice of offerings at their proper location."