"Lest they pray"; police escort Jews on Temple Mount
"Lest they pray"; police escort Jews on Temple Mount Flash 90

The Jerusalem District Court yesterday accepted the police appeal of the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court's decision which allowed Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount.

The Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism. However, Israeli authorities have historically prohibited Jews from any form of prayer at the site, even silent prayers. In recent years a growing number of Jews have visited and prayed at the site without interference.

On Tuesday, Justice Bilhha Yahalom of the Jerusalem Magistrates Court ruled that silent prayers on the Temple Mount cannot be construed as a criminal act, and ordered police to drop a restraining order imposed on Rabbi Aryeh Lippo, who had been barred from the Mount over his silent prayers.

“His daily visits to the Temple Mount indicate how important this is for him,” Justice Yahalom wrote in her decision.

Police appealed the Magistrate's Court's decision, and Public Security Minister Omar Bar-Lev even warned of a regional flare-up: "A change in the existing status quo will endanger public peace and could cause a flare-up," the minister said.