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Judicial Authority reiterates: Temple Mount ruling does not lift prayer ban

Israeli police accompany a group of Jews touring the Temple Mount on May 5, 2022, as the Jerusalem holy site was reopened to non-Muslim visitors. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)
Israeli police accompany a group of Jews touring the Temple Mount on May 5, 2022, as the Jerusalem holy site was reopened to non-Muslim visitors. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)

In an unusual message to media outlets, Israel’s Judicial Authority reiterates that the controversial ruling last night by a Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court juvenile judge is narrower than some media coverage has indicated.

The Judicial Authority sends a message emphasizing certain quotes from yesterday’s ruling by Judge Zion Saharay, including his own statement that his decision “does not intervene with the police’s job in enforcing public order at the Temple Mount, nor does it determine anything regarding freedom of worship at the Temple Mount. These matters are not discussed in the decision at all.”

Saharay denied a police request to bar several teenagers from visiting the site for a period of time after they were detained for reciting a prayer on the Temple Mount. In the wake of his ruling, the Prime Minister’s Office was quick to issue a statement that there would be change to the status quo at the site, under which Jews may not pray there.

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