Israel’s top court rejects appeal to open Temple Mount on Jerusalem Day
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Israel’s top court rejects appeal to open Temple Mount on Jerusalem Day

Decision made this “for reasons of public safety and public order” during Yom Yerushalayim

Israelis celebrate Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day), outside the walls of Jerusalem's Old City in May 2018 

Credit: Ancho Gosh
Israelis celebrate Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day), outside the walls of Jerusalem's Old City in May 2018 Credit: Ancho Gosh

 Israel’s Supreme Court rejected an appeal against closing the Temple Mount to Jewish visitors on Jerusalem Day.

The court announced on Thursday its decision to reject the appeal by Jewish Temple Mount activists, the Kan national broadcaster reported.

Earlier in the week, the Israel Police announced that the site holiest to Jews would  be closed to Jews and tourists “for reasons of public safety and public order” on Jerusalem Day.

The site is closed every year on the last days of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which this year falls out at the same time as Jerusalem Day, which is on June 1.

It reportedly will be the first time that Temple Mount will be closed on the day marking the reunification of Jerusalem under Israeli control in 30 years. The last time it closed also coincided with Ramadan.

The Temple Mount, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and the location of the Al-Aqsa mosque, is the third holiest site in Islam and is believed to be the site where the prophet Muhammad was transported from Mecca before ascending to heaven.

Jews are allowed to visit the site at certain times of the day and week, but are not allowed to pray or display Jewish symbols. Thousands visited the Temple Mount for Jerusalem Day last year.

Haaretz reported that the police also may limit the route of and the number of participants in the annual flag march on Jerusalem Day in which tens of thousands of religious Zionist teens march through the Old City, including the Muslim Quarter, in an event that has frequently caused tension between Jews and Arabs.

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