Muslim Riots Reach Temple Mount

Riots that began last week in Hevron reached the Temple Mount on Sunday morning. Arabs threw rocks at visitors. Four policemen lightly hurt.

Contact Editor
Gil Ronen, | updated: 10:14

Police on Temple Mount (file)
Police on Temple Mount (file)
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The riots that began in Hevron last week reached the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on the morning of the Purim holiday (Sunday). Four police officers were lightly hurt, as were at least 15 Arab rioters.

The riots started Monday after the government decided to include the Cave of Patriarchs in Hevron – Judaism's second most holy site – in a list of national heritage sites to receive extra funding, as well as the Tomb of Rachel the Matriarch near Bethlehem.

About 30 Arab Muslim youths threw rocks at visitors to the Temple Mount Sunday. A police force reacted by entering the mosque compound and the Arab attackers fled into the Al Aqsa mosque.

The Temple Mount mosques' public address speakers broadcast calls of incitement in the morning hours, including anti-Jewish phrases, calls for 'jihad' (holy war) and cries of “allahu akbar” - “Allah is great.”

There has also been ongoing violence between police and Arabs in the alleys of the Old City. Muslim youths have attacked police with rocks at the “Antonia Gate” entrance to the Temple Mount. One suspect was arrested near the Ecce Homo arch. A group of some 100 female rioters attempted to march in the Sultan Suleiman area of eastern Jerusalem.

Two Jewish activists were allowed to visit the Temple Mount early Sunday afternoon, after restrictions were placed on Muslims wishing to enter the site because of the violence. They braved the heavy rain to visit the Temple Mount "so that it should not be empty of Jews," according to one of them, Yosef Rabin.