Photo Credit: Courtesy, Beyadenu
Jewish man removed from the Temple Mount for bowing as police ignore ruling by Jerusalem Magistrate Court Judge Zion Sahrai, May 23, 2022.

Jewish ascenders were targeted, arrested and ejected from the Temple Mount in record-breaking numbers, according to the Beyadenu (Temple Mount is in our hands).

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One of those arrested Tuesday morning was a Jewish ascender to the Temple Mount in an IDF uniform, who was taken into custody for sitting on the steps and insisting on continuing to sit when a police officer demanded that he get up.

Shortly thereafter, Beyadenu guide Eliasaf Ofan was arrested after he was attacked by an Arab woman on the holy site, according to the organization.

“During his ascent to the Mount of Ascension, Ofan encountered an Arab woman who hit him with a sandal. On the way out, the police detained Ofan, stole his phone, and informed him that he was detained to be brought to the station,” Beyadenu CEO Tom Nisani charged in a statement to reporters.

The organization maintains a system of training, monitoring and documentation about the Temple Mount on an ongoing basis.

“There was significant harassment on the part of the Israeli government and the Israeli police towards the Jewish ascenders to the Temple Mount, for no apparent reason,” Nisani said. “From past experience, it seems that this is a decision by senior government officials along with the police officers.”

Figures gathered by Beyadenu show that in July, five Jews were arrested on the Temple Mount and six others were ejected from the site.

In August, 18 Jewish ascenders were arrested on the Temple Mount — a jump of 360 percent — while another 15 Jewish ascenders were detained (a 250 percent increase). Another 15 ascenders were removed from the sacred site under administrative orders, Beyadenu reported.

Among those who were removed from the Temple Mount was Nisani himself.

The rise in arrests and detentions is taking place as Temple Mount activists expect to see historic, record-breaking numbers of those ascending to the site. It is expected the number of Jewish pilgrims to the Temple Mount will top 50,000 this month for the first time ever. A total of 49,118 Jewish ascenders have ascended the Mount since 2015.

Silent prayers that have become part of the routine on the site are interrupted by police threats of delays and arrests.

Several days ago, former MK Yehudah Glick, a Temple Mount activist, was also detained and removed from the Temple Mount. Glick was detained for playing a recording of the blowing of the shofar on the Temple Mount during its liberation during the 1967 Six-Day War.

On August 25, a Jew was arrested and removed from the Temple Mount. After he demanded to complete his visit and leave the Temple Mount, he was separated from his daughter, who is in advanced stages of pregnancy, and from his small grandchildren.

On August 14, a policeman quickly detained a Jew who prostrated himself and silently prayed at the site, exercising his freedom of worship. The officer later allowed a soccer game there, despite a court ruling prohibiting such activity.

On August 3, a Jew was arrested and removed from the Temple Mount after he asked to stand at a certain location in the western section of the Mount, despite others doing so without restriction.

“The Israeli government and the Israeli police have declared war on the Temple Mount ascenders,” Nisani declared.

“They keep the Jewish ascenders away from the Temple Mount in a random manner and arrest them for sitting on the Temple Mount or praying.

“The transitional government and the police officers who persecute Jews have no right to act against the ascenders on the Temple Mount beyond maintaining the security of the citizens. It is time to take from them the powers that they assume without any legal authorization.

“The time has come for a civil administration on the Temple Mount,” Nisani urged.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.