Court Rules Yehuda Glick Can Visit the Temple Mount

Jerusalem District Court on Tuesday accepted an appeal by veteran Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick over his indefinite ban on visiting the Temple Mount.

However, Glick's latest hard-fought legal victory came with several conditions.

For one, the court accepted a petition by police to ban him from bringing a camera or smartphone onto the holy site. In addition, the court ordered police to facilitate just one visit per month for Glick, who is still recovering from an assassination attempt by an Islamist terrorist last year.

The date and time of that visit will be determined exclusively by the police, who will notify Glick 24 hours in advance.

Glick's appeal was launched in response to a police ban on him visiting the Temple Mount at all until the end of a pending case lodged against him by a Muslim woman who claimed he pushed her while visiting the site. For his part Glick says the woman – who is one of a large number of female Islamist activists who regularly harass Jewish visitors at the site – simply tripped and fell as she was harassing his group, and blamed him without any basis.

In his appeal, Glick challenged police claims that he could pose a threat to Muslim worshippers if he visited, saying that if that was the case he would even agree to go up while tied up and pushed along in a wheelchair.

In its ruling, the court stated that Glick is prohibited "from possessing a smartphone or camera at the time of his visit, in order to prevent him from provoking the Muslim community as the police claim he did during the incident" in which the Muslim woman fell.

The court also explicitly forbade Glick from "reading anything at all aloud" to anyone on the Temple Mount.

During the hearing police cited "classified" evidence which they said proved that allowing Glick to visit at all constituted a "danger to the public." But Glick's attorney Yitzhak Bam noted that claim was based on concerns Muslim extremists could riot due to his client's presence on the Mount, and responded by stating that it was the police's duty to preserve law and order in such an eventuality – not to ban his client.

Responding to the ruling, Glick praised the court "for accepting my basic claim that the police's duty is to protect the public, and that it is not acceptable that the police should punish the victim of violence because of a threat from the violent perpetrators."

However, he also expressed his disappointment in the severe restrictions placed upon his visits.

"The (court's) decision is far appropriate given that we are talking about permitting one visit per month to a person who is used to visiting 2-3 times a day," said Glick, who until his ban worked as a tour guide at the site.

Furthermore, he noted, the rationale for those restrictions was that "Arab violence is the result of the behavior of Jews and not the initiatives of terrorists, as revealed by security sources."

Despite being the holiest site in Judaism – and in spite of numerous court rulings for free access to Jewish visitors – police currently maintain severe restrictions on Jewish visits to the Temple Mount, including a blanket ban on prayer or worship of any sort, in order to appease Muslim groups who have threatened violence should Jews or other non-Muslims be allowed to pray.

Yehuda Glick has been among the most prominent Jewish campaigners against those police measures – earning him the wrath of both the police and Muslim extremists, the latter of which culminated in his attempted murder last year.


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