Jews on Temple Mount
Jews on Temple Mount Temple Mount Director

The Jerusalem Magistrates Court ruled on Sunday that Jews are permitted to recite the "Shema" prayer and bow during visits to the Temple Mount.

The unusual ruling by the Court was made following an appeal against the arrest of three teenage boys who bowed and recited "Shema Yisrael" while visiting the Temple Mount area.

The teens were arrested by police last week and given a 15-day restraining order from the Old City, due to the fact that they bowed and prayed inside the Temple Mount. The police's claim in the application for the restrictive conditions is that their conduct may lead to a violation of public order.

The teens filed an appeal against the order and Jerusalem Magistrates Judge Zion Saharai ordered the end of restrictive conditions imposed on them by the police.

Saharai wrote in his ruling, "In my opinion, it is not possible to say that bowing and reciting Shema holds a reasonable suspicion of conduct that may lead to a breach of peace, as required by law. It is difficult to imagine a situation in which shouting ‘Shema Yisrael’ on the Temple Mount would constitute a criminal offense of an act that could lead to a breach of the peace."

The judge quoted the words of Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai during the month of Ramadan, in which he said, “The Temple Mount is open. The Israel Police allows all residents of the country and the territories who come to pray on the Temple Mount to ascend and observe the worship of religion."

Attorney Nati Rom, who filed the appeal, responded to the court's ruling and said, "We are very pleased with the decision. The time has come for the Israel Police to start enforcing and arrest rioters and people who commit crimes in Jerusalem, and to protect the city's residents, and to stop dealing with esoteric problems while blatantly violating the religious freedom of the Jews on the Temple Mount. The Israel Police knows that this is not a criminal offense, so they are trying to impose all kinds of different and strange offenses against those ascending the Temple Mount. We are happy with the clear court ruling and it is time that the police stop harassing Jewish people who ascend to the Temple Mount."