Police rescue goat from Jerusalem Passover sacrifice ceremony
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Police rescue goat from Jerusalem Passover sacrifice ceremony

Suspect detained as he walks through Old City with animal in attempt to carry out Biblically commanded offering

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

A goat rescued by police from a man who intended to slaughter it as a Biblical Passover sacrifice in the Old City of Jerusalem, April 10, 2017. (Police spokesperson)
A goat rescued by police from a man who intended to slaughter it as a Biblical Passover sacrifice in the Old City of Jerusalem, April 10, 2017. (Police spokesperson)

Police arrested a Jewish man in the Old City of Jerusalem as he prepared to sacrifice a kid goat for the Passover holiday on Monday.

The man was stopped as he carried the goat along a street. He was intercepted by police and the goat was transferred to the Agriculture Ministry’s veterinary service.

Police stressed that they will continue to act against anyone who tries to disturb the peace and public safety over the holiday, which begins Monday night and lasts for seven days.

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.

Priests recite biblical priestly blessing following the demonstration Passover sacrifice, Jerusalem, April 6, 2017 (Alexander Fulbright/Times of Israel)
Priests recite biblical priestly blessing following the demonstration Passover sacrifice, Jerusalem, April 6, 2017 (Alexander Fulbright/Times of Israel)

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.

The ritual slaughterer prepares the sheep as part of a demonstration about the Passover sacrifice in Jerusalem's Old City on April 6, 2017. (Alexander Fulbright/Times of Israel)
The ritual slaughterer prepares the sheep as part of a demonstration about the Passover sacrifice in Jerusalem’s Old City on April 6, 2017. (Alexander Fulbright/Times of Israel)

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.

The ritual slaughterer presents the sheep as part of a demonstration about the Passover sacrifice in Jerusalem's Old City on April 6, 2017. (Alexander Fulbright/Times of Israel)
The ritual slaughterer presents the sheep as part of a demonstration about the Passover sacrifice in Jerusalem’s Old City on April 6, 2017. (Alexander Fulbright/Times of Israel)
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