No Prayer Permitted on Temple Mount Gates Tour
The “El Har HaMoriah” (To Mt. Moriah) Institute has finally received police permission to hold a tour around the Temple Mount gates in the Old City – but the restrictions make it nearly unfeasible.
Following protracted negotiations between the Institute and police officials, a meeting was held last week in which the final details were hammered out. The restrictions appear to outweigh the permits, however – and first among the “don’ts” is "Don't pray."...
The hours of the tour are restricted, as are the number of participants – to 15. The Jews must obligate themselves not to disturb the Moslem worshippers and others passersby, and may not even sit on stools while the guide is providing an explanation. The guides, whose identities must be provided to the police in advance, may not sit at all, and they are responsible to prevent “provocations vis-à-vis the local population.”
The tour must not enter the cemetery next to Mercy Gate, nor the adjacent Arab school, nor may the participants come within two meters of Cotton Gate.
Most importantly, according to Institute officials: “There will be no group or individual prayers at the entrance way at any hour.”
And I thought the Temple Mount was limited to an area of a 500 cubit square.
1The Temple Mount measured five hundred cubits by five hundred cubits. Its largest [open] space was to the south, the next largest to the east, the third largest to the north, and its smallest [open space] was to the west; the place where its measure was greatest was where its use was greatest. 2Whosoever it was that entered the Temple Mount came in on the right and went round and came out on the left...
This 'reaching out' by the police will only increase a 'reaching in'.