American tourist detained by police for allegedly praying on Temple Mount

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — An unnamed American Jewish tourist was detained for praying on the Temple Mount.

Israel Police escorted the man from the site on Sunday after he was heard quoting in Hebrew from a psalm. He had been speaking in English about a biblical verse when he said in Hebrew “Please, God, save us, Please God, give us success,” from Psalm 118, the Jewish Press first reported.

Under what is known as the status quo, Jewish prayer is not allowed on the Temple Mount, which is also a holy site to Muslims and is administered by the Muslim Waqf.

video taken of the detention shows the man’s fellow tourists explaining to the police officer that the man was not praying.

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“On the Temple Mount, I decide what is prayer,” the officer retorts before police take the man away.

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