5 nabbed, Feiglin held for praying on Temple Mount

3 Arabs arrested, 1 for carrying concealed knife; 2 Jews arrested for praying in "violation of customs of the site."

October 2, 2012 15:56
2 minute read.
Likudnik Moshe Feiglin at the Kotel

Likud activist Moshe Feiglin at the Kotel 390. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)


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Five people, including Likud activist Moshe Feiglin, were arrested after a confrontation on the Temple Mount on Tuesday morning during Feiglin’s monthly trip to Judaism’s holiest site.

Toward the end of Feiglin’s visit, a group of Muslims surrounded the Jewish worshipers and started yelling “Allahu Akbar.” Police immediately responded to the incident and separated the two groups.

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Upon searching one of the Arabs, they discovered that he was carrying a concealed knife, which is illegal on the Temple Mount. Police arrested three Arabs for disturbing the peace, and one of them for also carrying an illegal weapon.

Security forces also arrested Feiglin and another Jew for praying, which is “in violation of the customs of the site,” according to deputy police spokeswoman Shlomit Bajshi.

Praying out loud or using any type of traditional prayer objects such as tefillin, tallitot, or prayer books is forbidden for Jews at Judaism’s holiest site due to tensions with Muslims worshipers at the Aksa Mosque.

National police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said Feiglin prostrated himself on the ground and began chanting, in violation of the customs of the area.

Feiglin told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday evening that he did not pray at all and that the charges against him were false.

The three Arab and one Jewish suspect were released on condition they do not visit the Temple Mount for 15 days.

Feiglin refused to acquiesce to the restraining order prohibiting him from visiting the Temple Mount and was brought for a hearing at the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court.

The judge released him without any conditions.

Feiglin ascends to the Temple Mount on the 19th of every Hebrew month. This month, the 19th falls on a Friday, the Muslim day of prayer, when the Temple Mount is closed to non-Muslim visitors.

Feiglin went up to the Temple Mount on Tuesday with a number of additional supporters, as is his usual custom.

The confrontation did not require police to close the Temple Mount to visitors, and the rest of the day proceeded without incident. Rosenfeld said the security forces already have an increased presence in the Old City due to the Succot holiday.

In February, police prevented Feiglin from entering the Temple Mount after accusing him and other right-wing activists of attempting to disrupt order.

A flyer aimed at members of the Likud Central Committee urged thousands of supporters to join Feiglin at the Temple Mount.

“Purify the site from the enemies of Israel who stole the land, and build the Third Temple on the ruins of the mosques,” the flyer read.

Insp.-Gen. Nisso Shaham, who was Jerusalem’s police chief at the time, closed the Temple Mount to all non-Muslim visitors on February 12 as a result of the announcement.

Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.

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