Photo Credit: Mati Amar / TPS
Dome of the Rock mosque on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem

Jerusalem’s police on Sunday night arrested four Arabs who attempted to bring partitions into the Sha’ar HaRachamim (Golden Gate) area on the Temple Mount, apparently for the use of the illegal mosque operating there.

The Waqf and Muslim worshippers have re-accessed the area after it was shut down by an Israeli court order while claiming that the Israeli ban was another attempt to “Judaize” the Temple Mount.

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Tensions on the Temple Mount have been high after the Waqf‘s recent illegal takeover of the Golden Gate area and the establishment of another mosque, the fifth, at the holy site.

The Golden Gate area, known by the Muslims as the Bab al-Rahma, remains open despite the authorities’ attempts to close it.

The Muslims, as well as the Hamas terror organization, have threatened an outbreak of violence if Israel attempts to re-shut the area.

The Regavim movement, which petitioned the High Court of Justice against the Waqf’s illegal activities to build a mosque at Sha’ar HaRachamim, stated that the state’s conduct over the recent months has led to the current situation in which the Waqf has illegally erected another mosque on the Temple Mount.

The police have acknowledged that the Waqf in recent weeks has continued its illegal work, despite a closure order issued by the Magistrate’s Court in Jerusalem in March. The works included the installation of a speaker for the muezzin, the deployment of new prayer mats, the installation of lighting chandeliers and the installation of an electric panel.

Judge Meni Mazuz, who gave the state 90 days to respond to the petition, recently rejected Regavim’s request for an interim injunction against the work at the site. The hearing on the petition was scheduled for the beginning of July but was postponed until the end of September, almost six months after the petition was filed.

Yachin Zik, director of activities at the Regavim movement, charged that “when the state itself does not implement the closure order that the court issued at the request of the state, when the High Court rejects the hearing of the petition that we submitted, it is no wonder that the message that the Waqf hears is that they can do whatever they like, without having to be accountable to the law.”

Tempe Mount activists lauded the police for “their actions to defend Israeli sovereignty on the Temple Mount in general, and specifically at Sha’ar HaRachamim.”

They called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to allow the police to shut down the illegal mosque and open the area for Jewish worshippers and tourists.

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