Temple Mount
Temple Mount Motti Amar/TPS

Judge Ofir Yechezkel ruled that Waqf employee Fadi Bacher must compensate a young Jew for NIS 10,000, in addition to the cost of the legal proceedings.

The precedent-setting ruling was issued after the Waqf employee attacked the young man and kicked him when the latter bowed on the Temple Mount. In the suit, one Waqf employee was accused of humiliating and harming the Plaintiff on the Mount as well as abusing his position to harm and intimidate Jewish visitors to the holy site.

The incident occurred about two years ago, when the Plaintiff bowed during a tour of the Temple Mount. A policeman who was on the scene lifted from the ground and while he was handcuffed the Waqf employee came and kicked him in the stomach. The kick was recorded by one of the group members present. The Waqf member who attacked Fadi Bacher, who lives in the a-Tur neighborhood of Jerusalem, was arrested by police officers at the site.

In the statement of claim, the State's position, which was approved by the High Court of Justice, was presented as binding on the Waqf people's authority on the Temple Mount: "All visitors to the Temple Mount are accompanied by Israeli government policemen, and members have no authority to act directly with visitors. In the event that an incident occurs, which, according to the Waqf harms the administration of the site as a holy place, they must contact the Israel Police officers in the area and ask for their intervention in what is happening."

The State further stated that "the Waqf has no authority over Jews who go up to the Temple Mount. Those who keep silent and who wish to act against Jews who are improperly removed from the mountain."

Attorney Haim Bleicher of the Honenu legal organization, who represented the young man, emphasized that the Waqf has no authority over the Mount, and that they have no authority to attack Jewish visitors.

According to Attorney Bleicher, "In recent weeks we have witnessed the ongoing struggle for Israeli sovereignty over the Temple Mount in the capital of Israel. The enemy and the Waqf are constantly working to harm the immigrants and the sovereignty of the area. The Waqf man attacked the worshipers, claiming that he was working to restore order. Unfortunately, the citizens and the voluntary organizations are forced to act where the state behaves decisively. Because the police refrained from filing an indictment against the assailant, we filed a civil suit. The time has come for the state to begin to act in a sovereign manner against the enemy and its emissaries on the Temple Mount."

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