Four Jewish Israelis were arrested at the Temple Mount Wednesday after praying in the Jerusalem compound, considered Judaism’s holiest site.
The four prostrated themselves at the site, prompting police to detain them and escort them to a nearby police station for questioning, police said.
Under current laws, Jews are allowed to ascend the mount and pray at the site, which is revered as the location of both ancient Jewish temples. However, police have the right to veto any visits and in practice prevent both prayer and high-profile Jewish visits.
Earlier this year, the director-general of the Religious Affairs Ministry announced that regulations governing the right of Jews to pray on the Temple Mount will be reviewed and updated in an initiative that may relax the informal ban on worship at the holy site.
Muslims believe the mount is where the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven and embarked on a night journey through the air to Mecca. The day-to-day functioning of the site is in the hands of the Islamic Waqf, as it has been since Israel captured the site in the 1967 Six Day War, and Israeli governments have been stringent about maintaining the status quo.
Stuart Winer contributed to this report.