On May 26th, 2013 an agreement, with regard to HCJ 3075/12, erasing the petition, was reached between the petitioners and the civil administration.
The Petitioners had requested that they be allowed to enter the baptismal site in order to offer photography services to the visitors of the site, after their entry had been denied on a few occasions.
The baptismal site, on the south side of the Jordan River, is considered the third most holy Christian site, and draws a monthly estimate of thirty to forty thousand worshipers and visitors from around the world.
After the site was opened to the general public, photographers began to frequent the site in order to offer their services photographing the worshipers and visitors at the site. Some of these photographers resorted to intimidation tactics in order to coerce the visitors into using and paying for their services.
In order to combat this trend, a policy was set regulating the activities of photographers at the site. The policy, among other things, allowed photographers to enter the site with a group as long as they had coordinated their arrival ahead of time and left the site with that same group. The photographers were prohibited form photographing members of other groups and were asked to be considerate of the worshipper’s beliefs and preserve the sanctity of the site.
The petitioners, certain photographers who had violated the policy, were asked to leave the site or prohibited from entering enter the site in the first place.
In response to the petitioner’s request that these limitations be lifted, the civil administration explained that this policy is necessary in order to protect the public order and the worshiper’s religious beliefs. The civil administration further explained that the site’s operators apply the policy flexibly and should the petitioners act within the parameters of the policy, they would not be prevented from entering the site.
Upon the petitioner’s agreement to follow the letter of the policy, the civil administration agreed to the petition’s dismissal, with no order for expenses.