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6 Mar, 2015

Israeli Court Ruling Allows Jewish Prayer in Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound

JERUSALEM, March 4, 2015 (WAFA) – Palestinian organizations criticized the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court ruling which ostensibly backs claims that Jews are allowed to pray in al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

While Jewish extremists praised the ruling and considered it a “historic victory” as Israeli media sources reported, al-Aqsa Foundation for Islamic Waqf and Heritage published a report claiming that the move aims to legalize Jewish control over the Islamic site.

On Sunday, Judge Malka Aviv said the police ban on far-right extremist Yehudah Glick visiting the compound was issued “without appropriate consideration, was arbitrary, and only out of concern for the consequences of the broadcast.”

Glick, who was shot and seriously wounded during an annual event organized by the ‘Temple Mount and Eretz Yisrael Faithful Movement’ in Jerusalem in 2014, filed a law suit against the Israel Police for banning him for two years from visiting the compound, based on video evidence of him praying there. The extremist Glick, who is known for his regular attempts to legalize prayer at the compound, was banned by the Israeli police from entering the compound and attempting to pray there, as the action will “inevitably” trigger Palestinians. As Israeli media reported, the Supreme Court upholds Jews’ “theoretical” right to pray at the compound, but gives the security services the green light to ban Jews from performing rituals should such action result in potential unrest.

The Islamic Waqf and Heritage reported that it is the right time to stipulate clear administrative rules regarding Jewish prayer in the compound.

It explained that the rise in such provocative incursions into the compound coincides with an Israeli trend to take control over the Islamic site in order to permanently allow Jews to pray in al-Aqsa Compound and turn it into Jewish site.

The court ruling read that “There is nothing in the deeds of the plaintiff [Glick] that justified in any way the punishment that he received, not in the ban itself and not in the extended period [of the ban],” she said. Glick was also awarded NIS 500,000 in damages and NIS 150,000 in legal costs by the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court for the ban. And the judge insisted that Jews have a right to pray in the compound. Following the ruling, Glick’s lawyer said, “Starting from today, all Jews are allowed to pray on the Temple Mount. There is no longer any crime in prayer itself.” While Jews considered the ruling as a first step that will eventually allow all Jews to pray in the compound, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has “committed to upholding the so-called status quo” in November 2014.