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Court rejects plea to shut mosque under Temple Mount

JERUSALEM, March 13 (JTA) — Israel’s High Court of Justice ruled this week that a recently established mosque beneath the Temple Mount could remain open. However, a dissenting member of the three-justice panel recommended that the Israeli government reconsider allowing the mosque to operate. The petition to shutdown the mosque was submitted by two Israeli groups, the Temple Mount Faithful and Hai v’Kayam. They argued that the creation of a new Muslim prayer site in the area offended the sensitivities of fervently Orthodox Jews. Chief Justice Aharon Barak and Justice Yitzhak Zamir maintained that the two petitioners had not proved that the presence of Muslims praying under the Temple Mount inflicted harm on the feelings of Jews, who also consider the site holy. Justice Eliezer Goldberg, who dissented, said Jewish sentiments could be hurt by the continued operation of the mosque. The mosque, which opened in December, is located beneath the Temple Mount in the site known as Solomon’s Stables.

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