Tags: Israel | Religion | jerusalem | olive brand | prayer | temple mount

Reports: Israeli Police Question 2 GOP Reps in Jerusalem

Image: Reports: Israeli Police Question 2 GOP Reps in Jerusalem
Reps. David McKinley, R-W.Va. (Bill Clark/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 22 February 2018 05:40 PM

Two Republican lawmakers were briefly questioned by Israeli police Thursday during a visit to the venerated Temple Mount in Jerusalem after picking up an olive tree branch, the Times of Israel reported.

Reps. David McKinley, R-W.Va., and Scott Tipton, R-Colo., were questioned for about 10 minutes, a spokesman for McKinley told the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

A spokeswoman for Tipton said the branch was "eventually dropped along the way," the Gazette-Mail reported.

"The issue was quickly clarified and the congressman continued their visit according to plan," police said in an English-language statement, the Times of Israel reported. "They were not detained or arrested."

McKinley spokesman Alec Thomas said the lawmaker's act of picking up the branch was misread by authorities as a form of prayer, which is barred from the area.

"It is ironic as the olive branch is a sign of peace, and those of a different faith than Islam are made to feel unwelcome at Temple Mount," Thomas told the Gazette-Mail. "The Temple Mount should be open to all to peaceably worship, free of limitations."

According to the Times of Israel, Jews are allowed to visit the site but are not allowed to participate in worship or prayer. The Temple Mount, home to the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa mosque, is considered one of the holiest sites to both Jews and Muslims.

The GOP lawmakers were visiting Jerusalem to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and to discuss U.S.-Israeli relations, according to the Gazette-Mail.

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During a visit to the venerated Temple Mount in Jerusalem, two Republican lawmakers were briefly questioned by Israeli police Thursday after picking up an olive tree branch, according to the Times of Israel.
jerusalem, olive brand, prayer, temple mount
247
2018-40-22
Thursday, 22 February 2018 05:40 PM
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