ScreenshotTemple Institute

A Jewish activist arrested yesterday for singing the Israeli national anthem on the Temple Mount was handed a 15-day distancing order from the site Tuesday.

Avraham Fuah was violently detained by police just seconds after he began singing "Hatikvah," at the end of a brief speech in which he called on the Jewish people to "win the war" against its enemies. His arrest was caught on camera by other activists.


He was held by police for more than six hours before being released overnight, and was handed the distancing order by Jerusalem District Court the next day at the request of the police.

Despite being Judaism's holiest site, Jewish visits to the Temple Mount are strictly regulated and monitored as part of Muslim demands to keep the site "Islamic." Jews are forbidden to pray or conduct any forms of worship on the site, can only visit in small groups, may only enter at certain times and under supervision of the police and Waqf Islamic guards, and are forbidden from a wide range of activities including singing, standing still for too long or drinking water from "Muslim" drinking fountains.

Jewish Temple Mount activists have long campaigned for an end to those measures - which they denounce as discriminatory and a surrender to Islamist threats and terrorism - with protests often taking the form of similar acts of defiance under the gaze of police and Waqf guards, who swiftly arrest or remove them from the site.

The Israeli government for its part argues the measures are necessary to maintain calm at the site, noting how regular riots by Muslim extremists on the Temple Mount were only recently brought under control.

Responding to his son's arrest, Avraham's father Rabbi Michael Fua - who heads the Hitzim Yeshiva High School in Itamar - called on the government to end the draconian measures and allow Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount.

"We believe that the time has come to end the disgraceful situation in which Jews are not able to be free in the holiest place for the Jewish nation," Rabbi Fua said, branding the measures "a surrender to Muslim terrorism on the Temple Mount."

"We call on the Government of Israel to stand with its head held high, to order the immediate release of our son and the return of sovereignty and freedom of movement and prayer for Jews in all places, including the Temple Mount.