The Dome of the Rock mosque is seen during the sunset at the al-Aqsa mosque compound.
(photo credit: SAEED QAQ/NURPHOTO VIA AFP)
A Jewish man who was arrested at the Temple Mount on Sunday during Jerusalem Day was released from police custody later that afternoon under restrictive conditions, according to a statement released by the Israeli Zionist legal aid organization Honenu.
The man was arrested after being suspected of saying the Kaddish prayer at the sacred Al-Aqsa Mosque, the site where Muslims believe the prophet Muhammad ascended into heaven, ranking as the third-holiest site in Islam behind Mecca and Medina. The Waqf, the custodian of the holy site, strictly forbids Jewish worshipers from praying within the mosque and surrounding areas.
"We hope that on the next Jerusalem Day the Temple Mount will not only be in the hands of the Muslim rioters but also allow freedom of worship and movement for the Jewish people in the holy city," said the defendant's attorney, Nati Rom.
The young man will be forbidden to visit the mountain for the next week for violating the strict rules of the sacred site. As on every Jerusalem day, Jewish worshipers flock to enter the sacred site, as well as many other historically Jewish sites in Jerusalem. However, this Jerusalem Day coincided with the month of Ramadan, the holiest month in the Muslim calendar, and there were reports that Jewish worshipers would not be able to enter the site this year.Following the report that the Jewish worshipers would be allowed to enter the Temple Mount for Jerusalem Day
, riots broke out on the Temple Mount, according to the Police Spokesperson's Unit.
The commander of the Jerusalem district, Maj.-Gen. Doron Yedid, ordered the police to enter the Temple Mount and take care of the rioters.
As the police attempted to enter the holy site, Muslim worshipers began throwing stones, chairs and other objects at the forces. Police responded with riot dispersal methods.
After the riots subsided, Jews slowly began entering the area.
According to a statement by Rom, the defendant entered the Temple Mount accompanied by police with "dozens of Arabs yelling at them, 'Allahu Akbar,' disturbing the public order."
Rom said that after an extended period of time, the man and his group isolated themselves in the corner and began praying, after which time the police chose to "violently" detain the suspects, while the Muslim rioters who shouted at the group were left unphased.
“We hope that on the next Jerusalem Day the Temple Mount will not only not be in the hands of Muslim rioters, but also that the Jewish people will have freedom of prayer and movement in the holy city," Rom concluded.
Alon Einhorn contributed to this report.
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