Yair Hanoch, an activist from the Return to the Mount organization, was arrested at a light rail station near the Old City of Jerusalem while bringing a male sheep to the Temple Mount with the intention of providing it for a sacrifice.
Return to the Mount advocates for allowing Jews to perform the Biblically mandated animal sacrifices on the Temple Mount.
“There is no more room for Muslim rule on the Temple Mount – the time has come to build a Jewish temple and renew the sacrificial works,” the organization said after Hanoch’s arrest.
Rafael Morris, the head of the organization confirmed the details of the incident. It is unclear what the man was charged with as it is not illegal to have a goat in Jerusalem.
“It is certainly not against the law to have a sheep in Jerusalem,” Morris told Israel365 News. “It is unclear what he is being charged with. He was told that he was being stopped for intending to disturb the public order but that is not a punishable crime.
Indeed, Jews are commanded by the Torah to appear at the Temple on the holiday with a sacrifice.
Three times a year—on the festival of Pesach, on the festival of Shavuot, and on the festival of Sukkot—all your males shall appear before Hashem your God in the place that He will choose. They shall not appear before Hashem empty-handed,Deuteronomy 16:16
Akiva Ariel, the spokesman for the Beyadenu Temple Mount advocacy group, noted that police have been aggressive towards Jews at the Temple Mount during this holiday.
“So far, 22 Jews have been arrested on the Temple Mount. several of them for attempting to bring a lulav and etrog into the compound in order to perform the mitzvah that is specific to the holiday. Others were arrested for attempting to prostrate themselves on the holy stones.”
“Despite all the police limitations, hundreds of Jews ascended to the temple mount in honor of the holiday. Nonetheless, it’s sad to see that even under a right-wing government and a strong minister of national defense who himself ascends to the Temple Mount, Jewish rights are limited and Jews are arrested for practicing their religion.”
In a video provided by Beyadenu, police are seen using force against Jews on the Temple Mount. They order the people to stop recording while turning off their body cameras.