Activist Yehuda Glick can pray at Temple Mount, Jerusalem court rules


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick was wrongfully prohibited from visiting the Temple Mount for two years, an Israeli court found.

The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court in a decision announced Monday ordered the state to pay Glick about $126,000 in damages, as well as legal costs.

Glick was banned from the site between 2011 and 2013 after a local television broadcast showed him praying there.

Since capturing the holy site during the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel has severely restricted access for Jewish worshippers, in part not to inflame tensions. The status quo continues to restrict Jewish worship on the mount. Jewish worshippers continue to pray at the adjacent Western Wall, the most substantial remnant of the Second Temple destroyed in the first century C.E.

Glick leads a group that advocates for wider Jewish access to the Temple Mount. In October he was seriously wounded in an attempted assassination by a Palestinian gunman. As a guide, he also leads groups of Jewish tours to the Temple Mount and had argued that the ban hurt his livelihood.

On Sunday, Judge Malka Aviv said the police ban on Glick ascending the Temple Mount was issued “without appropriate consideration, was arbitrary, and only out of concern for the consequences of the broadcast.”

The judge criticized the lack of a clear policy governing Jewish visits and prayer on the Temple Mount, and said that police must ensure that Jews be able to pray at the site.

Glick remains under a restraining order preventing him from visiting the site. He is accused of pushing a Muslim woman there, breaking her arm. Glick denies the allegation.

Also Monday, the state told Israel’s Supreme Court that it would seal off the room in an eastern Jerusalem apartment building that housed Muataz Hijazi, who shot Glick, rather than demolishing the entire apartment. The family had appealed a demolition order, arguing that Glick is recovering and that none of the family members were involved in the attack.

Hijazi was killed in a shootout with Israeli security forces hours after the assassination attempt.

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