Police said they detained at least 17 people over the course of Monday in Jerusalem over a number of suspected attempts to sacrifice kid goats for the Passover holiday.
Six goats were seized and transferred to the Agriculture Ministry’s veterinary service, police indicated.
Police believe the suspects were en route to the Temple Mount to perform the act, in an attempted reenactment of the Passover sacrifice as described in the Bible.
Activists annually request permission to fulfill the ritual, commanded in the Bible, on or near the Temple Mount, where such sacrifices were carried out in ancient times, when the sanctuaries stood at the site. Police and courts have refused to okay the practice on the grounds that it could cause unrest if it is held at one of the most contested sites in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The flashpoint Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism and the third-holiest in Islam after Mecca and Medina
Authorities said they set up roadblocks Monday ahead of the start of the holiday to check vehicles trying to access the Old City, and that most of those arrested were right-wing activists.
On Sunday, police arrested several Jewish activists, including five minors, who they said were suspected of intending to carry out a separate Passover sacrifice on the Temple Mount.
Last week, security forces allowed a rehearsal sheep sacrifice to take place in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City. Previously, police had prevented such events anywhere in the Old City.
Approximately 200 people, including Likud MK Yehudah Glick, were in attendance for the practice slaughtering that took place next to the Hurva Synagogue in the Old City on Thursday evening.