Jerusalem police bar Temple Mount Faithful ceremony
By Etgar Lefkovits

JERUSALEM (October 4) - In a reversal of policy, Jerusalem police announced last night that they would not permit members of the ultra-nationalist Temple Mount Faithful to drive two symbolic "cornerstones" for a third Temple to a parking lot outside the walls of the Old City near the Dung Gate this morning.

A similar ceremony the group held two months ago on Tisha Be'av, the day marking the destruction of both Temples, sparked Arab rioting on the Temple Mount.

"Due to the group's public announcements that it plans to hold the ceremony on the Temple Mount, in complete contradiction to the terms agreed upon with police, it was decided not to allow the ceremony to proceed," Jerusalem police said in a statement last night.

Just Monday, Jerusalem police chief Cmdr. Mickey Levy had said that "in a democratic state" the group had the right to conduct its cornerstone ceremony, even though it was viewed by many as an unnecessary provocation.

The police chief stressed, however, that the stones would not be allowed inside the walls of the Old City, let alone on the Temple Mount.

Police said they were angered that the group reneged on its earlier agreement by putting out erroneous information.

For his part, the group's leader, Gershon Solomon, lambasted the police reversal, calling it a "capitulation to Arab threats of violence" and an "ugly last-minute trick" which prevented the group from appealing to the Supreme Court in time for today's planned ceremony.

Solomon acknowledged that the group's fliers spoke of a "cornerstone laying ceremony on the Temple Mount," but said that lower down the advertisement stated that the ceremony would be held at the Givati parking lot near the Dung Gate.

He said that the group would hold a demonstration at the Western Wall plaza tomorrow morning to protest the police reversal, which he accredited to the threats of Arab MKs.

In the previous such gathering in July, only 50 members of the group actually turned out.

On Sunday, the police chief spoke by phone with several Arab MKs in what appears to have been a fruitless effort to ensure law and order was maintained at the ceremony.

Reference: Jerusalem Post