Palestinians protest as Jews allowed on Temple Mount
On Sunday clashes occurred between the Palestinian protesters and police at the Temple Mount. Palestinians rioters threw rocks and chairs at Israeli security personnel. Protesters were pushed back toward the Al-Aqsa Mosque Sunday morning, barricading themselves inside while throwing chairs and other objects at the police, who eventually managed to breach the mosque and scatter the riots.
The riots began after hundreds of Jews were allowed to visit the holy site to celebrate Jerusalem Day. For the first time in 30 years, Jerusalem Day falls on the last three days of Ramadan. About 120 Jews entered the Temple Mount, prompting the Palestinians to throw stones and folding chairs at them. The police closed the gates of the Al-Aqsa mosque so that young people do not barricade themselves and throw stones from the inside. The doors to the mosque have been closed on Sunday morning, when the Jews began to climb the Temple Mount. Violence resumed when Palestinian youth tried to open doors.
About seven protesters were arrested during riots. Later police reported that the situation was stabilized. Police officers were deployed on a mountain to allow Jews to enter and hold events on the Day of Jerusalem, as planned.
The third holiest in Islam and the holiest site in Judaism, the Temple Mount was closed to Jews every year for the last 10 days of Ramadan. Hundreds of Jews showed up at the Mugrabi Gate, the only place through which non-Muslims may enter the Temple Mount.
In a statement issued by Jordan's Minister of Islamic Affairs and Holy Sites, Abdul Nasser Musa Abu Al Basal, he condemned Israel's “aggression against those at prayer,” and call it negating of international law and etiquette. He also urged Israel not to interfere in matters related to the mosque and called on “peace-seeking nations” to put pressure on Israel to “stop its provocations.”
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri issued a statement saying that “the forced evacuation of the Al-Aqsa mosque during the attack on [Palestinian] worshipers causes serious harm to the holy place and constitutes a serious escalation.”
The situation in Jerusalem remains tense after the Friday attack. A 50-year-old man was stabbed, and another got injured in Jerusalem's Old City, by the 18-year old Palestinian who was allowed into Israel for the last Friday of Ramadan. Israeli police said officers who arrived at the scene in Jerusalem shot and killed the suspect.