JERUSALEM (Jul. 17)
Fallout from the rioting at the Erez checkpoint between the Gaza Strip and Israel landed in Jerusalem on Sunday, when the local police chief forbade the ultranationalist group, Faithful of the Temple Mount, to enter the Temple area.
The police chief, Aryeh Amit, said that given the disturbances in Gaza, permitting the group to enter the Temple Mount endangered the safety of the thousands praying at the adjacent Western Wall during Sunday’s Tisha B’Av fast.
Amit was acting in accordance with the terms of the High Court of Justice’s ruling last week.
The court granted the group permission to enter the area under certain conditions.
According to the court’s ruling, the police had the right to withhold permission if public safety was endangered.
The Faithful of the Temple Mount, under the leadership of militant Gershon Salomon, had for years been denied permission by the court to enter the Temple Mount on Tisha B’Av.
Tisha B’Av, a day that consists of fasting and prayer, commemorates the destruction of the First and Second Temples.
On Saturday night, meanwhile, Women in Green, another right-wing group that had successfully petitioned the court, carried out its plans to circle the walls of the Old City.
The group was en route to prayers at the Western Wall.
The group, however, flouted the High Court’s ruling by exceeding the permitted 500 marchers.
The police expressed anger over the women’s action, but did not try to stop them.