Wednesday, August 23, 2017, 17:42 Honenu Attorney Chaim Blaycher is assisting Yair Kehati, the Vice-Chairman of the Hozrim L’Har (Returning to the [Temple] Mount) movement, in a written appeal to the Jerusalem District Police Commander, Yoram HaLevi, to put an end to soccer games on the Temple Mount.
Blaycher mentioned in the letter, that desecrating a holy site is a violation of the Protection of Holy Places Law (1967) which bears the penalty of a seven-year prison sentence. The request concludes with a quote from the Supreme Court ruling that the police are responsible for enforcing the law and ensuring that activities such as picnics and soccer games do not take place outside of their designated areas: “In light of all this I therefore demand that the police make every effort to prevent repetition of these occurrences by having desecrators of the site [Temple Mount] stand trial or at least confiscating the soccer balls with which the violations are committed.”
Yair Kehati, Vice-Chairman of Hozrim L’Har, stated that, “At a time that Jews are discriminated against on the Temple Mount and prevented from praying, the Arabs do as they please and treat the site with contempt with soccer games and picnics while the Israeli Police ignore the goings-on despite the ruling by the Supreme Court on the matter. We will not quiet down until the Israeli Police restores proper dignity to the most holy site in the world.”
The appeal follows an increasing frequency of Arab soccer games on the Temple Mount which visitors, including Kehati, have noticed during the month of August 2017. Kehati asked the policemen accompanying his group several times to put a stop to the games, and only once did they ask the Arabs to stop.
In the letter to Police Commander Yoram HaLevi, Honenu Attorney Chaim Blaycher described how visitors encounter games along the entire path of their walk on the Temple Mount in numerous places simultaneously, including areas not close to the school on the Mount. “The presence of soccer games on the holy Temple Mount desecrates the site and insults the feelings of the visitors and every believer to a great degree.”
For a selection of cases in which Honenu Attorneys represented Jews detained on or near the Temple Mount please see here