Jerusalem District police officers detained extreme right-wing activist Noam Federman Monday afternoon, after he was caught driving his vehicle with a kid — a young, male goat — in his car.
Federman is suspected of intending to ritually slaughter the animal in the recently renovated Hurva Synagogue located near the Temple Mount in the Old City.
Police said right wing activists threatened repeatedly this week to come up to the Temple Mount and conduct ritual slaughter there during the Pessah holiday. They also suspect Federman was planning to slaughter the animal on the Temple Mount proper, and not in the synagogue.
Federman was taken in for interrogation and the innocent animal was transferred to the Agricultural Development Unit in the Agriculture Ministry.
Jews have ceased conducting livestock slaughter rituals almost two thousand ago when the Second Temple was sacked and destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE.
Federman’s initiative to resuscitate the tradition, claimed by some religious Jews to be forbidden so long as the Messiah did not arrive, comes amidst several weeks of riots in Jerusalem by Palestinians who claimed the renovation of the Hurva is a Jewish conspiracy to overtake the Temple Mount.
Police deployed in large forces ahead of the holiday, especially in the Western Wall area, east Jerusalem and malls and public parks.
The Jewish holiday coincides with the Christian Easter, which culminates in the Sabbath of Light celebrated in the Holy Sepulchre next Saturday.
The military also imposed a curfew on the West Bank and will keep the territory quarantined until next Tuesday. Only urgent humanitarian and medical cases will be exempted, pending approval by the Civil Administration.