A Jerusalem court on Sunday released ‘Return to the Mount’ movement leader Raphael Morris to house arrest, rejecting a police request to keep Morris behind bars until the end of his trial.
Morris was arrested on Friday for violating a restraining order barring him from approaching the Temple Mount. Morris had attempted to ascend the Temple Mount ahead of the Passover holiday in order to offer a Korban Pesach ritual sacrifice.
Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir, who represents Morris, responded positively to the court’s decision.
“I’m happy that we’ve stopped the police’s misbehavior since Friday, and got a fair and balanced decision. In my opinion Morris deserves an award for his struggle for the right to pray on the Temple Mount, but in any event I think even the police realize that [their] request [to hold him until the end of his trial] was outrageous and extreme.”
“It’s unfortunate that at a time when the Minister [of Internal Security] is Gilad Erdan, the police ask for restraining orders and arrests spanning months against a young man who just wants to exercise his right to [pray] on the Temple Mount.”
On Sunday, Israeli police issued restraining orders against two Jews, including one minor, barring them from the Temple Mount. Police claimed the two “violated visitation rules”, a common euphemism for prayer by Jews.
The police commented on the incident, warning that it will not permit “disrupting the peace or security [on the Mount], [and the police] will act firmly against anyone who attempts to do so; [we] expect the public to behave responsibly and to obey police orders.”