Avid Editor's Insights

Bride, Father Arrested for Crime of Moving Lips on Temple Mount

Posted by Glezele Vayne on December 10, 2009


by Hana Levi Julian

(IsraelNN.com) A Jewish bride and her father were arrested on the Temple Mount the day before her wedding, after an Arab policeman claimed he saw the father muttering prayers and the bride nodding her head.

The father and daughter were being taken around the site on Wednesday morning by her brother Eli, a volunteer who conducts regular tours at the Temple Mount, when suddenly they were accosted by the Jerusalem policeman.

“We were in the northern part, and I was showing them the archaeological evidence when suddenly a police officer came over to us, Mahmoud Hativ was his name, and he claimed that my father had muttered prayers. “We tried to argue with him and said it wasn’t true, but he said, ‘You can’t fool me,’ and insisted that my father had prayed,” Eli told Israel National News.

“My sister was just standing there silently, not moving at all. She didn’t say a word. It was her first time at the Mount. Other cops came over, Mahmoud said that she had also been involved, and they decided to arrest them both,” he continued. “He let me go right away, because he couldn’t make any claim against me.” His sister and father were taken to the Kishla police station near the Jaffa Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem.

‘Lack of Will to Exercise Israeli Sovereignty’
“The fact that a father comes to the holiest place of the Jewish people and can be arrested simply for allegedly moving his lips is an outrage,” Eli said.

“The Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that the holy sites of all religions have to be protected and respected – that explicitly includes the rights of Jews on the Temple Mount. Jerusalem police continue to ignore that ruling.”

Asked if he believes U.S. pressure on Israel to make concessions to the Palestinian Authority had anything to do with the incident, Eli said, ‘No. It is a result of the lack of will of the Jerusalem police to exercise Israeli sovereignty over the Jewish holy places in Jerusalem, not U.S. pressure on Israel. It is unheard of to arrest someone just for praying in their own religion. In the U.S. that wouldn’t fly. There is no public place in the U.S. where a Jew could not pray. It is unfortunate, and sad.”

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From Glezele Vayne – Formerly “Schmoozing with Elya & Ellie Katz”

2 Responses to “Bride, Father Arrested for Crime of Moving Lips on Temple Mount”

  1. vinny said

    What crime would they charge these people with?

    • elyakatz said


      I do not know what the charges would be in a police report. Perhaps disturbing the peace???

      Christians and Jews are only allowed to go up on the Temple Mount a total of 3 hours a day, divided between morning and evening visiting hours. Neither can bring up any religious articles, prayer books, bibles, nor can they pray. For Jews, praying is an act, requiring saying the words either quietly our out loud. Prayer in Judaism is not generally considered thoughts alone.

      Thus, if a Jew visits the Temple Mount and is found to be moving their lips in what might appear to be prayer, then they can be arrested.

      These restrictions do not apply to Muslims.

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