Wednesday, August 2, 2017, 20:09 Honenu Attorney Menachem Stauber: “The police repeatedly use violence on Jews who only want to pray on the Temple Mount.”
On Wednesday, August 2, the Jerusalem Magistrate Court rejected the demand by the police for a three-day remand extension for four detainees who had been held overnight in Jerusalem. They were detained on the Temple Mount and in the Old City of Jerusalem on Tisha B’Av, the day on which the destruction of the Holy Temple is traditionally observed on a day of fasting. A policeman shocked one of the detainees with a Taser during his detention as he lay on the ground and did not pose a danger to the police.
Jerusalem Magistrate Court Judge Gioia Skappa-Shapiro ordered the release of the detainees on condition of their being distanced from the area of the Temple Mount for varying periods of time. At the deliberation the police representative claimed that the detainees had been detained because they disrupted public order by tearing their clothes during their visit on the Temple Mount.
At an additional deliberation the police demanded a 60-day distancing order from the Temple Mount for a young woman detained the previous day (Tisha B’Av) near one of the gates to the Temple Mount on suspicion of obstructing passage while praying at the site. She had been interrogated and released at the police station. Judge Skappa-Shapiro ruled on a distancing order of only two weeks.
Honenu Attorneys Menachem Stauber and Moshe Poleski, who represented the detainees, leveled severe criticism at the police for their conduct and were pleased that the court immediately released their clients. Honenu intends to file a complaint with Police Investigation Unit against the policeman who shocked the detainee with a Taser and to use all legal means to see that justice is served.
In recent years there have been several instances of Jews detained while attempting to pray either on or near the Temple Mount on Tisha B’Av. See here for the report of the closings of two such cases, one from 2015 and the other from 2016, each of which involved police brutality. See here for a 2013 case in which two Jewish girls were detained while praying near the gates to the Temple Mount, even though police at the site granted them permission to do so.