The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Monday ordered the state to pay Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick half a million shekels (slightly over $126,000) for having prohibited him from visiting the holy compound in the Old City from 2011-2013. Judge Malka Aviv also awarded Glick 150,000 shekels in court costs and legal expenses.
Aviv was pointedly critical of the police, saying the decision to prevent Glick from going up to the Temple Mount was an “abuse of power, exploitation of power and [exploitation of] authority at the expense of the ordinary citizen." She added that the ban “undermined the foundations of democracy, and constitutes an opening to an aggressive regime that subdues the citizen by improper means of tyranny in all possible forms. It seems that there’s no reason to waste words on how these decisions cause aggravation, particularly for a person to whom the Temple Mount is the center of his life, especially to a believing person.”
The judge was also critical of the lack of a clear policy regarding entering the Temple Mount enclave.
Glick, who was seriously wounded in an attempted assassination attempt four months ago, had been banned from the Temple Mount after he was shown in a Channel 10 report praying there – an act that contravenes the status quo determined by the police that forbids Jewish prayer in the compound.
In recent months Glick has again been banned from the Temple Mount because of charges brought against him for attacking a Muslim woman there about half a year ago.
Even after the assassination attempt on his life, the police insisted on maintaining the prohibition, arguing that the publicity Glick had received increased the risk of public disturbances if he were allowed into the Temple Mount site.
Glick said in a statement that, “While indeed the wheels of justice grind slowly, in the end the court revealed the naked and painful truth: The Israel Police has been implementing a cruel policy for many years. It has abused Jews ascending to the Temple Mount, and treated them arbitrarily and heartlessly.
“Instead of protecting us from violent Islamic elements," he added, "the police consciously added insult to injury by treating Jews who are law-abiding victims of violence as if they were criminals. I am hopeful that this ruling will be a warning sign to the legal authorities to ensure justice and not make corrupt use of their power. Unfortunately such police behavior gave impetus to a terrorist who tried to take my life.”
For its part, the Israel Police said that it and the prosecution would study the ruling and consider its next steps.
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