In a landmark ruling on Monday (March 2, 2015), the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court has seemingly allowed Jews to pray on Temple Mount – a highly divisive issue that was one of the catalysts for the Second Palestinian Intifada.
The Temple Mount compound is controlled by the Muslim Waqf. Jews are forbidden from praying on the Temple Mount. Since capturing Jerusalem in 1967, by law Jews are not allowed to pray on the Mount. It is a common practice for Jewish visitors to be followed around by religious police while on the mount to make sure they are not praying. Attacks on Jewish visitors are a frequent occurrence.
BUT THE RULING, HAS STILL CAUSED MAJOR UPROAR
The ruling is a victory for Rabbi Yehuda Glick, a hardline Jewish activist, who brought an action against the Israeli police for banning him from visiting the site for two years.
Glick was banned from visiting Temple Mount between 2011 and 2013, after a Channel 10 broadcast showed him uttering a Jewish prayer on the sacred site. Last year, Glick was also seriously wounded in an assassination attempt by a Palestinian extremist.
Temple Mount is of extreme religious importance to both Judaism and Islam and is also significant to Christianity.
Court Judge Malka Aviv ruled the police “must make sure that Jews are able to pray on the Temple Mount.”
Both Israel and the Palestinian Authority claim sovereignty over the site, and so it has been a major source of tension in the Arab-Israeli conflict since the 1967 War when Israel captured the Old City of Jerusalem where Temple Mount is located.
Since 1967 Israel has given control of the mount to the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, and in an attempt to keep the status quo has stopped prayer there by non-Muslims.
Israeli security forces also say that non-Muslims worshipping on Temple Mount incite Palestinian violence.
Glick was also awarded 500,000 shekels ($125,303) in damages NIS 150,000 ($37,588) in legal aid costs. Glick’s attorney, Aviad Visoly, said that the ruling will effectively allow Jews to pray on Temple Mount.
“Essentially, the court took the ruling of the Supreme Court regarding the right of Jews to pray at the Temple Mount, and implemented it in practice,” he said.
But Arnon Segel, an Israeli journalist and commentator on issues concerning Temple Mount, was skeptical that in reality Jewish prayer would be allowed on the site, the Jerusalem Post reports.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu re-committed in November to upholding the status quo not to allow non-Muslim prayer on Temple Mount.
The police may also decide to appeal both the ruling and the financial reward.
In 2000, when Ariel Sharon visited Temple Mount, it triggered violent protests from Palestinians and was one of the catalysts of the Second Palestinian Intifada.
Read More: The History of Israel and the Temple Mount
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Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me arefor signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion – Isaiah 8:18 (KJV).
And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed -Luke 2:34-35 (KJV).
And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem – Isaiah 8:14 (KJV).
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste – Isaiah 28:16 (KJV).
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste -John 4:21 (KJV).
Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth ismy footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? – Isaiah 66:1 (KJV).
Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up – John 2:19 (KJV).