by Daniel K. Eisenbud
Muslim Waqf personnel have Jewish Orthodox woman, who was dressed in skirt that covered her knees, removed from holy site.
A young Orthodox Jewish woman who was denied entry to the Temple Mount Sunday morning by Muslim Waqf personnel for being “immodestly dressed,” was subsequently removed from the holy site by Israel Police, a witness to the confrontation said.
According to the witness, who requested anonymity, the woman was clothed in a black dress that covered her knees, as well as black tights, yet was confronted by two members of the Waqf upon attempting to gain entry at 8 a.m.
“They came up to her and said her dress was too short and that she wasn’t modestly dressed,” the witness said. “When she demanded an explanation, four other Waqf [personnel] came over and called Israeli police, who came soon after and forced her to leave.”
In a brief video taken by one of the woman’s friends outside of the main gate to the Kotel, she can be heard incredulously asking the Israeli officers why she was forced to leave.
During the clip, the woman, who said she regularly visits the Temple Mount, pleads with the officers that she is appropriately dressed and has never been detained for wearing such a dress before.
As the woman demanded entry, her companion who filmed the scene was told by an officer to put his camera away, but refused.
While the officers appear to agree with her, they claimed that the Muslim Waqf has the final word in such a scenario.
“She looked and sounded very humiliated,” the witness said.
Although the Supreme Court has upheld Jewish prayer rights at the site – which is overseen by the Wakf Muslim religious trust – the court allows police to prevent any form of worship there if they believe such activities will incite a “disturbance to the public order.”
This caveat has resulted in a contentious debate among religious Jews and the government, as any form of prayer among Jews there – including simply moving their lips to appear to be praying – is considered a “public disturbance” and has resulted in a plethora of detainment.