While Jewish rights to pray on the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism, have long been abrogated by Israeli authorities, the freedom of religion apparently is not the only right being denied to Jews on the Mount.
The Temple Mount, which is under sovereign Israeli control, is nonetheless managed by the Jordanian Waqf – and Islamic trust which has run the holy site since the Hashemite kingdom’s illegal occupation of the Old City of Jerusalem in 1948.
At the behest of the Waqf, Israeli authorities have limited Jewish access to the Mount for years, barring Jews and other non-Muslims from approaching southern end of the Mount, where the Al Aqsa Mosque is located, or the Dome of the Rock at the center of the Mount.
Jews, in particular, are also prohibited from praying, bringing religious objects onto the Mount, or conducting any religious rituals including the exchange of wedding vows, circumcision ceremonies, and the like.
The blatant double standard, which gives Muslims free rein to pray or play on the Mount, has been likened in the past by some Jewish Temple Mount activists to a latter-day form of de facto segregation.
On Tuesday, those claims appeared to be strengthened when police barred Jews from using a public water fountain on the Mount, declaring that its use was for Muslim Arabs only.
When a three-year-old Jewish child attempted to drink from the fountain, an officer ordered his father to remove the boy from the fountain and to find a bottle or water fountain at a different location – preferably one at which non-Muslims are permitted to drink from.
Video of the incident was uploaded by the Temple Mount Institute to social media late Tuesday night, showing the officer requesting the father find another source of water for his son – off of the Mount.