Ha’aretz (Israel), Apr. 20, 2003
The High Court of Justice heard a petition Sunday morning from the Temple Mount Faithful, who are demanding that Jews be allowed to conduct prayers at the biblical site in Jerusalem. The justices did not rule on the case, deferring the decision to a later date to enable further study.
Jews have not been allowed to visit the Temple Mount since Ariel Sharon’s visit to the site in September 2001, which sparked the Al-Aqsa Intifada, named for one of the mosques built on the mount.
The petitioners argue that it is racist to allow Arabs to pray at the site, while prohibiting Jews from doing so. According to this group, the policy is predicated by the police’s fear of Arab rioting.
In a closed-door session, the justices were briefed on the security considerations behind the present policy.
Meanwhile, about 20 activists from the Temple Mount Faithful gathered at the Western Wall plaza Sunday morning and called on the government to open the Temple Mount to Jews. The group, led by Gershon Salomon, was turned back by police at the Mugrabi Gate adjacent to the plaza.