Photo Credit: Returning to the Mountain Facebook page
Returning to the Mountain tour of the Temple Mount compound.

The Jerusalem Magistrate Court on Sunday freed from jail three activists of the Returning to the Mountain organization, and rejected police demand that they be restrained from going into the Kotel Plaza and the Jewish Quarter in Jerusalem, Honenu reported.

In her ruling, Judge Sharon Lary-Bavly noted that only last week there was a “rehearsal” Pascal sacrifice ceremony, attended by thousands, alongside the Kotel, which did not cause any provocation.


The Judge ordered that the case be turned over to the police public complaints officer as well as to the internal affairs unit, to investigate police behavior during the activists’ arrest, including a reported humiliating undressing incident.

At the same time, the Judge issued a restraining order against the activists barring them from entering the Temple Mount compound until Wednesday, and forbade them to carry out the Pascal sacrifice anywhere in the Old City.

Although there are some views that the Pascal sacrifice can be carried out in our time, provided one keeps to the permitted parts of the Temple Mount (since nowadays we all carry the impurities stemming from contact with the dead), the majority of rabbinic opinions suggest Jews should not conduct the sacrifice.

As to the more or less favorable ruling, Raphael Morris, Chairman of Returning to the Mountain, told Honenu that he is “disappointed that the court did not throw out the police request right away,” adding that “police should pay compensation to the activists who were pulled from bed at five in the morning for a short interrogation that was intended to block a legitimate and legal activity of our movement.”

“It’s about time for the state to stop fighting the Temple activists and start supporting the activities towards rebuilding the Temple and keeping the commandment of the Pascal sacrifice.”


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