Jewish organizations focusing on the Temple Mount are accusing the Jerusalem Police of harassing Jews who visited the religious site during the holiday of Sukkot.
According to the organizations' activists, their visiting hours to the Mount were restricted and the police threatened them with false arrests and administrative restraining orders in numbers which had yet to be seen.
Jews are legally allowed to visit the Temple Mount and pray at the site, but the police have determined that visitors must avoid praying for fear of sparking riots, which could endanger the public...According to the Temple activists, in the past the police only arrested worshippers arriving in groups, but that now that policy has changed and the treatment of all Jewish visitors to the site has been toughened.
The organizations stressed that contrary to the police's stand, the court had released all detainees – proving that the procedure was unnecessary and justified.
Jerusalem Magistrate's Court Judge Malka Aviv even [in a personal note in her decision] commented that "the argument that the Muslims do not look favorably upon Jews praying on the Temple Mount cannot in itself prevent a Jew from implementing the religious command and praying on the Temple Mount."
The activists also complained that the police shut the Temple Mount gates to Jewish visitors earlier than usual, allowing each person to visit the place for just a few minutes – and in small groups.
"This is a shame and disgrace. We have never seen such a thing," said Yehuda Glick, chairman of the Foundation for the Heritage of the Temple Mount. "The police simply wet their pants every time they fear friction, and the Jews are the ones who suffer. The Arabs have already learned the method and are threatening to riot, because they know that will stop us from going up to the Mount. They understood that recently on Tisha B'Av, when Jewish visitors were completely banned."
...The Jerusalem Police rejected the claim and offered the following in response: "The Temple Mount was open to visitors at regular hours, despite the provocations on both sides.
"The police will take a firm hand against any provocation from any source, and will continue carrying out arrests and keeping suspects away in order to maintain order and security on the Temple Mount."
Moshe Shpitz and Aviad Shapira were arrested/taken into custody this morning. They were suspected of praying. No further details.