Coalition chairman: Israel Police preventing Jews from praying on Temple Mount (ISRAEL HAYOM) Shlomo Cesana 08/06/12)
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MK Zeev Elkin says the High Court of Justice permits Jews to pray on
the holy site, but police decided to introduce sweeping ban on Jewish
prayer out of their own operational considerations.
The Israel Police force is illegally preventing Jews from praying on
the Temple Mount, according to Coalition Chairman MK Zeev Elkin
"The current situation, where Jews are not allowed to pray during a
visit to the Temple Mount, is the result of a decision taken by the
police and the police alone, and it is illegal," Elkin, who is also a
member of the Knesset Internal Affairs Committee, said on Sunday.
Jews are currently allowed to visit the Temple Mount, the holiest
site in Judaism, as tourists, and only for a few hours on Sunday to
Thursday mornings. Police officers stationed at the entrance to the
site, which is under Israeli sovereignty, stress to Jewish visitors
that they are not allowed to pray or conduct any sort of religious
service at the site.
Elkin says the issue has been discussed several times in committee
meetings with Police Commissioner Insp. Gen. Yohanan Danino and
Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, but the policy has not
Elkin said the High Court of Justice had ruled that Jews were allowed
to pray on the Temple Mount, and that police could temporarily
prohibit Jewish prayer in situations where there was a risk to public
order or to the public good.
"But the police claim that this is always the case … A basic right
like prayer should not be limited," Elkin said. "The decisions are
mostly linked to the police´s operational considerations, and not to
the government´s policies. The police are overly concerned
with ´covering their tails´ on this matter."
Elkin proposed introducing a similar understanding on the Temple
Mount to the one that exists for the Cave of the Patriarchs in
Hebron. This would give priority to Jews during Jewish holidays and
to Muslims on Muslim holidays also on the Temple Mount.
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