Jewish activist sues PA, Jordan over Temple Mount restrictions

( A Jewish activist has filed a NIS 1 billion ($262 million) lawsuit in Jerusalem Direct Court against the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Jordan that claims their restrictions against Jewish access on the Temple Mount violate Israeli anti-discrimination laws.

Aerial view of the Temple Mount. Credit: Wikimedia Commons. 

According to Baruch Ben Yosef, the PA and its president, Mahmoud Abbas, are responsible for “continuously inciting violence on the Temple Mount to eliminate or decrease Jewish visitors to the mountain,” the Times of Israel reported.

The suit is based off of an Israeli law passed in 2000 that prohibits those who operate public spaces to limit entry based on race, religion, nationality, sex, or political affiliation.

Ben Yosef said the discrimination against Jews has “damaged the dignity and respect of the defendants during their visit to the Temple Mount.”

The lawsuit also alleges that Jordan’s claims of sovereignty over the Temple Mount are invalid due to Israel’s victory in the 1967 Six-Day War.

Israel took control of the eastern half of Jerusalem, including the Old City of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, from Jordan during the Six-Day War. Since then, the Temple Mount has been administered by the Jordanian-run Islamic Waqf, with security provided by Israeli police. The Waqf limits Jewish access to the Temple Mount to certain days and times of the week and bans any Jewish prayer on the site.

Over the past year, tensions have grown over the Temple Mount, with many Jewish activists calling for changes to allow them greater access there. But Israel’s leadership has been resistant to changing the status quo out of fear that it could further destabilize the region, strain ties with allies, and possibly lead to another Palestinian intifada. 

Posted on August 6, 2015 .