Three Israeli Jewish men in their early 20s were arrested Tuesday afternoon while attempting to enter the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Police said the suspects were attempting to smuggle Israeli flags onto the Mount with the intention of displaying them, an act prohibited at the sensitive site.
The three suspects were arrested at the Mughrabi Gate, next to the Western Wall Plaza, Walla News reported.
The Mughrabi Gate is the only entrance through which non-Muslims are allowed to enter the site under Israel’s agreement with the Wakf, the Jordanian Islamic religious authority responsible for operations on the Temple Mount.
Police said a search of one of the men revealed an Israeli flag in his back pocket, and a check of his two companions revealed two more flags in their backpacks.
Under the agreement between the Israeli government and Islamic authorities at the site, both Jewish prayer and displays of Israeli nationalism are prohibited on the Temple Mount.
Although Jews are prohibited from entering the Mount by most religious authorities, some religious Zionist leaders have allowed the practice.