Police Flout Ruling on Jewish Temple Mount Prayer

'The court can say whatever it wants - the police have a policy here,' officer tells group who tried to say prayer for fallen soldiers.

Ari Soffer ,

Police flout court ruling allowing Temple Mount prayer
Police flout court ruling allowing Temple Mount prayer
Temple Institute

Activists have posted online the first recorded evidence of police openly flouting a recent court ruling which demanded Jews be allowed to pray on Jerusalem's Temple Mount.

Despite being the holiest site in Judaism, Jews and other non-Muslims are prevented from praying there due to an arrangement between the police and the Waqf Islamic authorities which administer the site, also home to the Al Aqsa Mosque complex. In order not to "offend" Muslim worshippers, Jewish visits are severely restricted and religious-looking Jews are closely monitored for any hint they might be praying - and are often promptly arrested if suspected of doing so.

In one recent case an IDF soldier was arrested after bowing his head as he left the holy site.

Jewish Temple Mount campaigners have branded the draconian laws a capitulation to terrorism, noting Israeli authorities have all but abandoned the Temple Mount to Islamist groups.

The video - which took place this morning (Wednesday) at the start of Memorial Day, and was publicized by the Temple Institute - shows a police officer scolding a group of Jewish visitors and threatening to eject them from the site, after attempting to say a prayer for the memory of Israel's fallen soldiers.

"The next time there is a problem like that the whole group will be taken off the Mount," he says.

After a Jewish woman protests at the restrictions, citing the court ruling, the officer brushes her off: "The court can say whatever it wants, the police have a policy here."

"Everybody (listen up): no courts, no nothing. The entire police have a policy, and we act according to that policy, OK?"

"No praying!" an Arab Waqf official can be heard saying as well, as Muslim extremists shout "Allahu Akbar" in the background.

Temple Institute International Director Rabbi Chaim Richman, who was with the group at the time, branded the incident "a terrible indictment of the government."

"It is absolutely insane that on Yom Hazikaron (Memorial Day) we're not allowed to say a prayer for those that fell.

"Is there any other place in the world where the police could get away with so flagrantly violating a court order, and saying 'we don't care what the court says, we have our own rules'?"

Even Jewish groups who stick to the rules are often accosted by Muslim extremists as part of an organized campaign of harassment

Nonetheless Jewish visits to the Temple Mount continue to increase, confounding and infuriating the Islamists attempting to prevent them.