The Jerusalem Magistrates’ Court has ruled that the Israel Police violated the rights of Knesset Member (MK) Yehuda Glick by removing him from Al-Aqsa compound.
The court’s ruling criticised the Israel Police for “not fulfilling its obligation to provide an explanation for [its] conduct against Glick,” Arutz Sheva reported yesterday, with the court stating that: “The lack of sufficient explanation raises concerns about the arbitrariness of the police toward the Plaintiff.”
Arutz Sheva explained: “The lawsuit dealt with seven cases in which Glick was not allowed to [enter Al-Aqsa compound], after the Israel Police promised the [Israeli] High Court of Justice that it would allow him to [do so] and that it would remove him only after providing him the right to be heard during a hearing.”
In five of those seven cases, the court ruled that Glick had proved that the Israel Police was “negligent” in preventing him from entering Al-Aqsa compound and in causing him harm.
The court then ordered the police to pay Glick 7,500 shekels ($2,032) in compensation, as well as 6,000 shekels ($1,626) to cover his attorney’s fees.
Glick – a Likud MK and Orthodox rabbi who lives on the illegal Israeli settlement of Otniel, south of Hebron in the occupied West Bank – has long been a controversial figure for his repeated storming of Al-Aqsa compound. In September, Glick led a group of extremist settlers into the compound and performed prayers near the mosque, an act which is strictly prohibited under the status quo agreement.
In July, Glick led over 1,000 Israeli settlers onto the Al-Aqsa compound to pray to in commemoration of the Jewish holiday of Tisha B’Av. The group was protected by heavily-armed Israeli forces which were deployed at the doorways to Al-Aqsa, set up barriers and confiscated the ID cards of Palestinians trying to enter the site. Earlier that month Glick, along with two other MKs Amir Ohana and Shuli Mualem, forced their way into the Al-Aqsa compound after Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, lifted a three-year ban on government officials and Knesset members visiting the site.
Yesterday’s court ruling will be seen as ironic in light of the way Israeli police and armed forces treat Palestinians trying to enter Al-Aqsa compound. Last week, the police sieged the complex and surrounded the Dome of the Rock, demanding that the mosque’s guards turn themselves into the authorities. Firas Al-Dibs, an employee of the Waqf – the religious endowment which administers Al-Aqsa – said that tensions had broken out after the mosque guards refused to allow an Israeli policeman, who was wearing a Jewish kippah (head covering) at the time, to enter the Dome of the Rock. The Israeli police subsequently laid siege to the building, preventing Muslim worshippers from praying.