In a historic ruling, a Jerusalem magistrate court has allowed for the first time ever Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount.
Until this ruling, police have prevented Jews from praying at the holiest site in the Jewish religion, bowing to the desires of the Islamic Waqf, which controls the Temple Mount complex. Jews, and often Christians, who visited the Temple Mount are forced to endure continual harassment at the hands of Muslims.
The ruling is a decisive victory in favor of Temple Mount activist Rabbi Yehuda Glick, a recent victim of Islamic terror. In 2011, Glick was banned for two years by Israeli police from ascending the mount after a Channel 10 broadcast showed him uttering a prayer at the holy site.
This week’s ruling, issued by court judge Malka Aviv, stated that the police ban was implemented “without appropriate consideration, was arbitrary, and only out of concern for the consequences of the broadcast.” She wrote in her brief that “police must make sure that Jews are allowed to pray on the Temple Mount.”
Aviv also awarded Glick compensation of NIS 500,000 for losses to his livelihood, as he leads tours on the Mount, as well as NIS 150,000 for damages. His legal costs which must be paid by the police.
Glick was seriously wounded in October after an Islamic terrorist tried to assassinate him for his continued attempts to bring the Temple Mount issue to the forefront of the Israeli political spectrum. Seemingly, he has now won a great and long awaited victory, not just for himself, but for the entire Jewish and Christian world who wish to pray at this holiest of sites.
Since the Temple Mount was reclaimed by Israel in 1967, proprietorship was turned over to the Waqf and the status quo has been that non-Muslims are not allowed to pray there. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised to uphold the status quo in the face of continuing violent Muslim protests in November, shortly after Glick was shot.
According to the new ruling, the police are legally bound “to ensure that Jews are able to pray on the Temple Mount, and not to act sweepingly to prevent Jews from praying on the Temple Mount.”
Attorney Aviad Visoly, who represented Glick, said that the verdict “has made prayer on the Temple Mount ‘kosher’. In essence, the court took the Supreme Court’s rulings about the Jews’ right to pray on the Temple Mount, and implemented them.”