Several Israelis were detained on the Temple Mount on Thursday as Israel marked the day of mourning of Tisha B’Av, on which the destruction of the two Jewish Temples is commemorated.
Hundreds of Israelis ascended to the holy site, the police enabling groups of 20 to enter every two minutes, as several hundred others waited for their turn amid the heat and high summer temperatures and while fasting.
At least 18 worshippers were detained for praying or prostrating themselves at the holy site, actions still deemed illegal for Jews at Judaism’s holiest site.
The detainees were released after their personal details were recorded. They may face legal action in the future.
The police also arrested several Muslims who reacted violently to the Jews’ visits at the holy site.
At the Kotel, the authorities limited the number of Israelis entering the site to 1,000 to enable them to maintain social distancing during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Kotel plaza is usually packed with tens of thousands of visitors on Tisha B’Av.