Muslims rioted on the Temple Mount and clashed with Israeli police who cleared the area.
Edited by: JV Staff
Responding to nationalist calls for riots, Muslims on the Temple Mount rioted on Sunday, forcing Israeli police to clear the area using crowd control methods, including stun grenades, Israel media reports.
Israeli Police said that, “Following nationalist calls and disturbances in the area of the Temple Mount, police forces under the command of the district commander, who were ready at the scene, dispersed the rioters in order to restore public order.”
Curiously, the riots began around 9:30 a.m. shortly after Israel announced it would not allow Jews to go up to the Temple Mount, the holiest site to the Jewish people where the First and Second Temples once stood.
Sunday marked Tisha B’Av, the Jewish memorial day for the destruction of the First and Second Temples, which according to Jewish tradition were destroyed on the same day 585 years apart.
Also falling on Sunday is the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha (or “Feast of the Sacrifice”) which celebrates Abraham’s readiness to sacrifice his son Isaac.
Hoping to avoid riots, Israel decided not to allow Jews to ascend to the site. Israel’s Channel 13, citing a senior official, reports that the decision was made at “the highest political level.”
According to a TPS report, Muslim leaders over the weekend called on Jerusalem’s Muslims to attend prayers at the Temple Mount and ensure that Jews could not visit the site during their day of national mourning.
Scores of Jews stood at the entrance to the Temple Mount for hours while fasting, waiting for the police to admit them.
The Muslims began to riot after their prayers concluded and police forces stormed the compound while using crowd control means. At least three police officers were injured.
Hamas hung a mass banner on the Temple Mount conveying their holiday greetings to the Muslim worshippers, in violation of Israel’s sovereignty at the site.
Member of Knesset Nir Barkat, formerly Jerusalem mayor called on the police to allow the Jews to visit the holy site and not surrender to Muslim violence.
Earlier in the day, a Jew walking through the Old City in Jerusalem was moderately injured by a bottle thrown at him, presumably by Muslims.
Similarly, Jews driving towards the Kotel, the Western Wall, were attacked while passing through an Arab neighborhood. Both cars were heavily damaged, but no Jews were injured in the attacks.
Channel13 reported that that Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week and pointed out that the two holidays would fall on the same day. Netanyahu said that the decision as to whether to allow Jews up to the site “would be in accordance with the assessment of the situation of the police chiefs regarding the danger to public peace,” according to the senior official, Channel 13 reports.
The United Right, an alliance of right-wing Zionist parties led by former Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said, “Netanyahu’s decision to close the Temple Mount is a national disgrace. The Mount is the most sacred place for the Jewish people. We call on the Prime Minister: Change your decision.” (TPS & WIN)
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