Group of Jews in Israel Disguise Themselves as Muslims to Pray on Temple Mount, Media Says
"We are not prepared to accept the sanctions against Jews that exist on the Temple Mount", he said.
The group teaches its members how to disguise themselves as Muslims. They dress in traditional Muslim outfits, carry prayer mats and beads, as well as Arab-language books about the Quran. Some members even dye their and beards black to make themselves look more like Arabs. On top of that, instructors teach members how to go through the motions of a Muslim prayer, while actually reciting Jewish liturgy.
Following the 1967 Six-Day War between Arab states and Israel, the latter captured the Old City and although the holy site is under Israeli control, an Islamic Waqf manages the Temple Mount and administers religious activities there. Thus, Jews are allowed to visit the site, but are not allowed to pray there.
It appears that members of "Returning to the Mount" do not fear that their are actions violate the law.
"The fact that the country doesn't like it doesn't mean that it is illegal", said the group's head, Raphael Morris.
One member of the group, who called himself Baruch (not their real name) said the following:
"At worst, okay, they catch you so you are arrested. It is worth it to me in order to pray properly and so as to not surrender to the police humiliation".
The news about Jews disguising themselves to pray on the Temple Mount has prompted concerns among Israeli security officials, who fear that group's actions may spark violence between Palestinians and Israelis. Channel 13 said it had come under pressure from security officers, who told it not to broadcast the report about the group amid concerns that it may lead to an escalation of tensions.
Public Security Minister Omer Barlev said that every week individuals disguised as Arabs are slipping through the gates that are intended for use by Muslims only.
Asked about a potential altercation at the holy site one member of "Returning to the Mount" said the following: "For the sake of the Temple I am prepared to pay with my life".