Otzma Yehudit (Jewish strength), a right-wing political party, brought an appeal to the Israeli Supreme Court on Thursday requesting the removal of the metal detectors at the Mughrabi Gate, the only entrance Jews are permitted to use to access the Temple Mount.
Dr. Michael Ben-Ari, Baruch Marzel, and Benzi Gopstein, brought the petition to the court. Itamar Ben-Gvir, the lawyer representing Otzma Yehudit, stated that requiring Jews to pass through metal detectors while Muslims enter the site freely, “creates a reality of discrimination due to nationality and damages the right of Jews and tourists to equality.”
“There can be no disagreement that the decision to remove the detectors [for] Muslims was taken due to the race of these Muslims and them being Arabs,” Ben-Gvir stated to the court.
The appeal added that “the Israeli government has given veto power to violent mobs to determine the Cabinet’s policy, but since this is a political decision and the court is not inclined to intervene in these decisions. In [this petition], all the petitioners seek is to compare the situations of Jews and Arabs, so that a situation will not be created in which Jews are discriminated against.”
In July, three Palestinians exited the Aqsa Mosque armed with automatic weapons and killed two Israeli policemen. After the terror attack, the Israeli government installed metal detectors but after two weeks of Arab riots, removed the security measures. Jews must pass through metal detectors and undergo a thorough security check. Once inside the site, Jews are forbidden from eating or drinking and may not use the water fountains at the site. Though the Israeli Magistrates’ Court ruled that Jews must be permitted to pray at the site, the Israeli Police have forbidden this, citing security concerns. Muslim Authority guards accompany Jews on the Temple Mount to ensure they do not pray or show any signs of devotion.
Supreme Court Justice David Mintz ordered Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to respond to the petition within 50 days.