The Temple Mount is closed to both Arabs and Jews, though many of the latter wished to visit the site in honor of the Sukkot holiday. North of the holy site, at the Lion’s Gate, some 250 Arabs rioted and hurled rocks and bottles at police. One policeman was lightly injured, and some arrests were made.
The site – the holiest site in Judaism – was closed by police after Islamic clerics called upon Arabs to “come and defend the Mount.” The threat alone was enough to have the police do the job for them; the area was cordoned off and a helicopter was seen hovering above the Temple Mount.
A group of Arabs from central Israel was arrested on their way to Jerusalem.
Jewish activists on behalf of the Temple Mount protested peacefully against the closure in the area of the Mugrabi Gate, at the Western Wall plaza. “This is chutzpah and total surrender to Arab incitement,” they said. Large police and Border Guard forces are deployed around them as well.
A week ago, on the eve of Yom Kippur, 12 police officers were injured in riots instigated by the Waqf [Muslim Trust that runs the Temple Mount].
Yehuda Glick, a leading Temple Mount activist, noted, “The police fulfilled the Arabs’ desire to keep the Jews away. They learned that if they throw rocks, then the Jews are prevented from coming. After last week’s incident, the Temple Mount was closed to Jews, but Arabs were allowed in freely.”