Shabtai Ben-Dov v Minister of Religious Affairs

Date27 March 1968
CourtSupreme Court (Israel)
Israel, Supreme Court sitting as the High Court of Justice.
Shabtai Ben-Dov
Minister of Religious Affairs.

Warfare on land Occupation of enemy territory Legislative, judicial and administrative functions of Occupant Non-discriminatory application of legislation Equal freedom of access to Holy Places Status of Old City of Jerusalem The law of Israel.

Summary.The petitioner asked for an order of the court ensuring that supervision of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem is placed in the hands of persons interested in its protection as a Holy Place for the Jewish community and that steps be taken to exempt entry thereto from the necessity of presentation of admission tickets or of any payment.

The High Court discharged the order nisi, finding that there were a number of gates through which admission was available to the area of the Temple Mount without tickets or payment and holding that at the present stage, when the admission procedure had not been finally settled, the fact that at one gate, adjoining the offices of the Administration of Moslem Charities, tickets and payment were required did not injure the feelings which Jews held in regard to the holiness of the Temple Mount.

The following is the text of the judgment:

Per the President (Agranat):

Following upon the brilliant and historic victory of the Israel Defence Army in the Six Day War, during which considerable parts of the land of Israel were freed, including the area known as the Old City of Jerusalem which embraces also the Temple Mount, the Knesset on 27 June 1967 passed the Law and Administration Ordinance (Amendment No. 11) Law, 57271967, which provides that the law, jurisdiction and administration of the State shall extend to any area of Eretz Israel [the land of Israel] designated by the Government by order.

The next day the Government issued under this provision the Law and Administration Order (No. 1), 57271967, which states that the area of Eretz Israel described in the Schedule to the Order has been designated as an area in which the law, jurisdiction and administration of the State applies. That area includes, inter alia, the Old City of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.

The significance of this statutory amendment and the Order made by virtue thereof is that, in addition to the rule of the Israel Defence Army, a clear act of sovereignty was effected on the part of the State so that Israel law should extend to this area, in the words of the Minister of Justice when introducing the bill of the amendment...

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