Honenu appealed, police eased Temple Mount administrative order

For a selection of cases in which Honenu Attorneys represented Jews detained on or near the Temple Mount please see here.

Sunday, July 10, 2022, 12:53 In late May, the police served a Jewish youth who prostrated himself on the Temple Mount with a seven-week administrative order distancing him from the Temple Mount and the passageways leading up to its gates. Several weeks later, Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado petitioned the Supreme Court on behalf of the youth to cancel the order. The petition also requested clarifications from the police, in light of a Jerusalem Magistrates Court ruling that prostrating oneself or saying the “Shema Yisrael” prayer on the Temple Mount does not constitute a basis for a criminal offense liable to violate the public peace. After Yado filed the petition, the police and the Jerusalem District Commander, Major-General Doron Turgeman, reduced the duration of the order by half. The order is set to expire in the coming days, and in light of this, the Supreme Court decided to reject the petition.

Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado welcomed the reduction of the order but was puzzled by the decision not to demand clarifications from the police: “Unfortunately, the Supreme Court rejected the request by Honenu to demand clarifications from the police regarding why and for what the order will not expire immediately and will continue until Thursday, despite everything claimed in the petition. The order was completely unjustified.”

Yado described the incident in the petition to the Supreme Court, summarized below:

On May 22, the Jerusalem Magistrates Court ruled that prostrating oneself or saying the “Shema Yisrael” prayer on the Temple Mount does not constitute a basis for a criminal offense liable to violate the public peace. The following day, the appellant ascended the Temple Mount in light of an understanding that the court decision permitted Jewish worship on the Temple Mount. Likewise, in the briefing given that morning to those ascending the Temple Mount, unlike in the briefings given on previous mornings, the policeman did not say that Jewish worship on the Temple Mount was forbidden.

The youth innocently thought that times had changed and that he could recite the “Shema Yisrael” prayer and prostrate himself on the Temple Mount. Based on the decision by the Jerusalem Magistrates Court and the omission of the prohibition of worship from the morning briefing, the appellant realized his religious wishes and prostrated himself, legally according to his understanding, on the Temple Mount.

By not detaining the youth, the policemen’s actions indicated that they did not know what the legal status of the Temple Mount was that morning. This is evidence that the command staff also did not know if in light of the Jerusalem Magistrates Court decision there was a prohibition against Jewish worship on the Temple Mount. Accordingly, the command staff took the route bypassing criminal charges and conducted an administrative hearing.

Because of the decision by the Jerusalem Magistrates Court, it is clear that the appellant was distanced from the Temple Mount by an administrative order and not by a criminal order. Now that the Jerusalem District Court has overturned the Jerusalem Magistrates Court’s decision, there is no longer any justification for maintaining the administrative proceedings. Additionally, the appellant does not pose a danger, not in general and not in light of the prostration that constituted the grounds for issuing the order. He is also not expected to pose danger in the future. The appellant repeatedly declared that he does not intend to violate the law and that he understands the decision by the Jerusalem District Court. Moreover, in the distant past, we saw that many Jews prostrated themselves on the Temple Mount, without the act leading in and of itself to a severe violation of public security, and here there is a declaration of intent to follow the law from a law-abiding individual without any criminal convictions.

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