Prayer in the Muslim Quarter is not a crime

Judge overturns police arrest of girls praying near gate to Temple Mount.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Old City streets
Old City streets
Flash 90

A court hearing was held on Tuesday after three Jewish girls were forbidden from entering Jerusalem's Old City, after they had prayed close to one of the gates to the Temple Mount. However, during the course of the hearing in Jerusalem's criminal court it became clear that the police have completely banned Jewish prayer in the entire Old City.

After the matter was presented to the district court, the ban was overturned. According to lawyer Itamar Ben-Gvir, this is an illegal restriction, but according to the police, the prayer had the potential to disturb the local community. According to Judge Ron Alexander "the first condition for a restraining order is committing a crime, but prayer is not a crime."

Ben-Gvir explained that the police cannot just decide that prayer in a public space is a crime tjustifying judicial involvement. Even if the prohibition does assist in maintaining order, that does not justify making an illegal decision.

The police have requested that the court wait to enact its decision, so that they can appeal to the High Court.