Second Temple Mount Rock Attack
Arab youths Sunday morning hurled stones at Jewish worshipers who ascended the Temple Mount. The attack came just two days after Friday afternoon's stone throwing incident which forced the Israel Police to storm Judaism's holiest site.
Yoel Keren, a Land of Israel activist and regular visitor on the Temple Mount, told Israel National News that the attack came during his weekly ascent.
"It was the morning aliyah, my regular Sunday time, around 7:45," Keren related. "We went up... myself, attorney Baruch Ben Yosef, and four female [Jewish] worshipers."
Keren said the group was accompanied by a member of the Israel Police and a Waqf official onto the edge of the platform of the Al Aqsa mosque.
"We were on the northern end of the platform of the mosque," Keren explained. "Its closer [to the forbidden zone of the Mount] than most groups go, but still outside the halachic Temple Mount according to [Jewish sages] Radbaz, Rambam, Rav Tzvi Rogen... and most of the major archeologists," Keren explained.
"That's when I heard the rocks ricocheting near us and looked up to see three Arab kids throwing stones at us... kids from the school up there. They were about 20 meters away. I turned and asked Baruch if he saw it... and he had a rock at his feet."
Keren said the Israel Police officer present did nothing when the rocks and fleeing Muslim youths were pointed out to him and told the group to "keep going."
"I asked the officer if he saw what happened and he said he didn't know what I was talking about," Keren related. "When I pointed at the rocks and the kids, who were just kind of sauntering off, not sure what the cop would do, he just asked if we'd been hit [by the stones]. When we told him 'no' he just told us to 'keep going.' It probably woundn't have been a big deal if I was hit, but three of the ladies were elderly. He didn't do anything."
Israel police spokesman Mickey Rosenthal said in every incident, whether on the Temple Mount or elsewhere, the safety of the public is an officer's first priority.
"All incidents on the Temple Mount are investigated," Rosenthal told Israel National News. "Whether then and there, or using other means later, is something that has to be assessed by the officers on the scene, but our first concern in any incident anywhere is the safety of the public."
"A lone officer with a group on the Mount has to put the group's safety ahead of making arrests. We have CCTV cameras on the Temple Mount that we can and will review just like we did with Friday's incident. We made several new arrests over the weekend in that incident and more are coming. This incident will be investigated, too," Rosenthal promised.
Editor's Note: there are differing opinions on the permissability of ascending the Temple Mount among halachic decisors.