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Teenage girls arrested for walking with Israeli flag on Temple Mount

On Israel's Independence Day, which will be marked on May 13-14, hundreds of activists intend to ascend the Temple Mount carrying Israeli flags.

A large billboard posted near the Ayalon Highway in Tel Aviv reading, "On Independence Day, the flag is raised on the Temple Mount," May 1, 2024. Photo by Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90.
A large billboard posted near the Ayalon Highway in Tel Aviv reading, "On Independence Day, the flag is raised on the Temple Mount," May 1, 2024. Photo by Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90.

Two Israeli teenagers were detained by security forces on Wednesday morning after one of them wrapped herself in the country’s national flag at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site, rights activists said.

The two girls, reportedly friends from Otniel in the South Hebron Hills of Judea, were taken to a nearby police station in handcuffs and banned from the site for an unknown period, according to Arutz 7.

Tom Nisani, the executive director of Beyadenu—Returning to the Temple Mount, said: “The Israeli government needs to decide whether the Temple Mount is in our hands or the hands of the [Jordanian] Waqf.”

“There is no legal or moral reason to arrest Jews who walk with the Israeli flag on the Temple Mount. On Yom Ha’atzmaut, we will all raise flags on the Temple Mount,” he added.

On Israel’s Independence Day, which will be marked on May 13-14, hundreds of activists intend to visit the Temple Mount carrying Israeli flags, in defiance of the status quo agreement with Jordan that has governed the Jewish holy site since the 1967 Six-Day War ended.

Under the status quo, the day-to-day administration of the Mount is overseen by the Waqf, an Islamic religious trust, while the Israel Police is responsible for security. The display of flags of any kind is prohibited, though this rule has rarely been enforced on Palestinian Arabs.

“It’s no coincidence that the Hamas terror group named its [Oct. 7] Simchat Torah massacre after the Temple Mount. This is a national and religious conflict, and so far, the State of Israel refuses to internalize this and demonstrate true sovereignty on the Temple Mount,” said Nisani.

“The raising of the Israeli flag on the mount [should] be done by the government and the security forces themselves; this hasn’t happened, so we decided that the time has come to do it ourselves,” he told Israel Hayom.

According to Beyadenu, 500 people have already committed to coming on May 14, and more are expected to join. The group purchased a large billboard near Tel Aviv’s Ayalon Highway to recruit more participants.

More than 4,000 Jews ascended the Temple Mount during Passover, which ended on Monday, breaking records from previous years.

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