Last January, two youths from Yerushalayim’s Old City urinated on the section of the Kosel known as the “Kosel Kotton,” but NRG reported on Monday that they will not be held liable for desecrating a holy place.
The two Old City youths, Yahya Awad and Wizan Qutini, were indicted for the act in January, and were caught on security cameras during the act.
According to the indictment, despite the presence of signs in the area, in Hebrew, Arabic and English, saying that the location was a holy site, Awad and Wazani stopped at the placed on their way home and urinated under the signs, on the stones of the Wall and on the surrounding plaza.
The original indictment accused the two of indecent conduct in a public place and the desecration of a holy site.
Their attorneys claim that the youths meant no harm, and felt the urgent need to urinate, relieving themselves at the location without knowing its significance as a holy site.
The Little Western Wall is a Jewish religious site located in the Muslim Quarter, near the Iron Gate to the Temple Mount. It is the continuation of the larger and more familiar part of the Western Wall, and almost exactly faces the location of the site where the Jewish temple once stood.
The impression given by the plea bargain submitted to the Jerusalem Magistrate Court, however, is that Israeli Police do not consider the Little Western Wall a holy place, according to NRG.
The police claims department arrived at a settlement with the two young men last week and filed an amended indictment, deleting the offense of desecrating a holy place.
Notwithstanding the settlement, the department’s representative, Arnon Yahav, highlighted during a discussion the seriousness of the act, saying that “if this were reversed and it was a Jew who urinated on the walls of the Temple Mount, Jerusalem would have been aflame. But, when an Arab [the two youths are Arab] urinates on the Little Western Wall, it’s okay.”
When NRG asked the police if they consider the Little Western Wall as a holy place, they responded that, “by the nature of things, we will not go into the details of the specific case. However, we would like to note that, in general, plea bargains are arrived at on the basis of all of the circumstances relating to the case and based on professional considerations.”
The response added, however, that, the Israeli Police, “treats very seriously any transgression of the law against desecrating holy places.”