Photo Credit: Courtesy of Beyadenu
Graffiti in Arabic on the Temple Mount.

On August 30, a team of the organization Beyadenu (In Our Hands – a reference to the immortal announcement made by Paratroopers’ commander Col. Mota Gur on June 7, 1967: The Temple Mount is in our hands) ascended to the Temple Mount, led by Executive Director Tom Nissani only to discover new graffiti in Arabic in the northern part of the compound, some of it inciting and nationalistic.

In addition to disfiguring the holy site, the graffiti included the inciting slogan “Today and tomorrow is our Jerusalem,” the name “Al-Aqsa,” and several names in Arabic.

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The next day, Nissani filed a complaint with the police and sent an urgent letter to the Jerusalem Municipality, calling on it to prosecute the offenders for violating the Preservation of Holy Places Act.

The letter stated that “as long as the authority to manage the Temple Mount is formally in the hands of the municipality and the police, you have the responsibility to deal with any violation, harm, contempt, and spray-painting of graffiti, certainly when it is the holiest place to the Jewish people.”

Graffiti in Arabic on the Temple Mount. / Courtesy of Beyadenu

This week, Nissani received a reply from the Jerusalem District Attorney, stating: “We have been informed that the graffiti has been removed, the police on the Temple Mount are dealing with the issue regularly.”

An examination showed that the offensive graffiti had indeed been erased, except for a few scraps that were not nationalist or inciting.

Tom Nissani stated that “as long as the police are responsible for running the site, which is a mistake in my opinion, then they are responsible for handling these cases. I am therefore pleased that the matter has been addressed and we will continue to follow up and respond to any graffiti, damage to the Temple Mount, as well as illegal excavations and incitement, and will demand action.”

Nissani concluded: “We still demand to know how many are responsible for the spraying and whether they were caught since the entire Temple Mount compound is covered by security cameras 24/7 and there is no reason not to prosecute the person who did it.”

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