Dome of the Rock
Photo: Ron Peled

Court: Temple Mount Faithful can visit holy site

High Court judges permit members of extremist Orthodox group to visit Mount on Tisha B’Av, as long as they do not cause provocation. ‘We’ll bring hundreds of Jews, and show Arabs we don’t intend to surrender single millimeter,’ members say

The High Court of Justice ruled Tuesday to permit members of the Temple Mount Faithful movement to visit the Jerusalem holy site on Tisha B'Av, in the framework of an agreement the State Attorney’s Office reached with the extreme-Right Jewish group.  


The Temple Mount and Eretz Yisrael (Land of Israel) Faithful Movement is an Orthodox movement, founded by Mideast Studies lecturer Gershon Salomon, which wishes to reestablish the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem and re-institute the practice of ritual sacrifice.


Currently on the site of the Jewish temple, which was destroyed in 70 A.D., stand Islamic holy sites the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque. In the past, members of the movement have been forbidden access to the site out of fear they would spark clashes with Muslims.


The judges wrote in their verdict that, “After discussions…the following was agreed between the sides regarding Tisha B’Av: Those represented by the prosecution, with the exception of Gershon Salomon, can visit the Temple Mount during regular visiting hours for the public.”


The ruling stipulated that the Temple Mount Faithful “could not carry any banners, could not wear extraordinary clothing, and could not behave provocatively.”


With that, the High Court authorized police forces to prevent the visitation should circumstances change or should the agreement be violated.


'We won't give up a millimeter'


Among the Temple Mount Faithful there was apprehension that police would attempt to block the visits, and they were prepared to file complaints to the High Court of Justice.


Elements on the extreme-Right told Ynet, “It is our intention to bring hundreds of Jews to the Temple Mount Thursday, and among other things we plan to pray for the wellbeing of soldiers in the north.”


“The Temple Mount is the heart of the nation, and as long as Israel doesn’t control the Temple Mount, then we do not control all of Israel,” they added.


When asked whether their visit might spark a conflagration during these sensitive times, they noted, “This is our chance to clarify to the Arabs that we don’t intend to surrender or give up a single millimeter.”


Chairman of the far-left Hadash party, MK Mohammad Barakeh, slammed the

court’s verdict.


“This is a dangerous decision made in the shadow of the cruel war Israel is fighting against two peoples – the Palestinians and the Lebanese. Such a decision is like fuel in the hands of pyromaniacs, and could ignite another blaze.”


פרסום ראשון: 08.01.06, 17:38
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