A Jerusalem right-wing activist claimed police had detained him on the Temple Mount Monday morning for “disturbing the public order” after he purportedly videotaped a group of Muslims cursing his presence at the contested holy site.
Rabbi Yehuda Glick, director of Haliba, which advocates for Jewish civil rights on the Temple Mount, said the incident had taken place shortly after dozens of Muslims had surrounded him upon his ascent.
When the group of Palestinians refused to distance themselves, he said, he used his phone to film them, at which point he said police confiscated the device and removed him from the area for incitement.
Glick claimed police had returned the phone only after he had agreed not to forward any of the images.
“This has become an all-too-familiar bullying scenario that can be expected every Jewish holiday,” he said in a statement Tuesday.
However, according to police, Glick – who has previously been detained numerous times there for incitement – was removed for calling Muslims at the site “dogs” and refusing to stop antagonizing them.
“He was given a police escort to ensure his safety and then called the Muslims there ‘dogs,’” police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said Tuesday. “He was detained and told not to return to the Temple Mount for 10 days.”
A few months ago, police barred Glick from the Temple Mount indefinitely for what they deemed his chronic provocations. Following a protracted hunger strike, police allowed the activist to return.
The rabbi’s detainment came a day after seven Palestinians were arrested at the site for rioting against Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel’s scheduled tour. Following a restricted visit with police escorts, the minister defiantly announced that he would continue to visit the holy site and called for complete Jewish sovereignty over it.
In response, Jerusalem City Councilman Meir Margalit, who holds the east Jerusalem portfolio, condemned Ariel and other right-wing Israelis for attempting to derail already fraught peace negotiations.
While the Supreme Court has recognized the right of Jewish worship on the Temple Mount, the court has left the implementation of those basic civil and religious rights to police discretion, which has resulted in a plethora of detainments and arrests for incitement.
Last month, riots broke out on the Temple Mount after Friday prayers, when hundreds of Palestinians attacked officers with rocks.
The violence came one day after police closed the holy site to Jews to avert another riot, following anonymous threats from Arabs of imminent violence should any Jews ascend.
According to a statement from Haliba, the organization’s mission is to “bring together a diverse group of Jewish Israelis – secular, haredi, traditional, national religious, men and women – who are united in their concern that the inability of Jews to freely ascend the Mount to pray, meditate or give thanks represents a grievous and indefensible civil rights deprivation to Jews all over the world.”