Over 200 Jews were in a group that visited Har Habayis on Thursday, the first day of Chanukah. Several tens of Jews were unable to get in due to the large number of visitors. The organizers stress they all toiveled and prepared in line with Halacha prior to the visit. Three members of the group were arrested, reportedly for bending over as they recited tefilos, which for Jews is a prohibited act on Har Habayis as per the Islamic Waqf Authority.
Police officer Moti Yogev prevented participants in the group from distributing food and beverage as they wished because of Chanukah, telling mispallalim that Har Habayis is not the place for food and drink and they should have a more somber atmosphere. Honenu attorneys are planning to file a complaint against Yogev for his actions, which they explain were a violation of the law.
Har Habayis activists are urging mispallalim who will be visiting throughout Chanukah to bring cookies and beverage and if Officer Yogev interferes to document events to add them to the case against him.
It must be noted that according to the Poskei Hador one is absolutely forbidden to visit the Har Habayis, and there is an Issur Kares for one that goes there.
Four years ago on Sukkos, President Shimon Peres paid a visit to the Sukka of Maran HaGaon Rav Elyashiv ZATZAL, where Rav Elyashiv called on the President to prevent Jews from visiting Har Habayis, stating it is an act that that is viewed as extremely provocative by the goyim. Maran stated everything possible must be done to avoid a religious war, and the provocateurs are playing with fire.
Maran is quoted as explaining to the president that Halacha forbids going onto Har Habayis but today, it is more than this, it is an act that may lead to a religious war and bloodshed.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)