The Jordan News Agency has published an unusually inciting report that the monthly recital of Psalms in the Old City was a “storming of the Temple Mount.” Similar allegations often are reported by Palestinian Authority and other Arab media, but Jordanian media is normally more restrained.
The recital of Psalms at several closed gates to the Temple Mount is performed by thousands of Jews, under close police guard, around the beginning of every new Hebrew month, and the eve of the month of Tevet this week was no exception.
Its coincidence with the Chanukah festival gave Jordan News Agency’s Ramallah correspondent an opportunity to report, “Jewish extremists on Monday stormed al-Aqsa Mosque compound by crossing Bab al-Magharibe bridge [the entrance used by non-Muslims to the Temple Mount].
“Settlers roamed the compound's yard under the protection of Israeli police and soldiers.”
The report also alleged that rabbis urged “their supporters to storm al-Aqsa Mosque in the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah to perform religious Talmudic rituals in its yard.” The reporter wrote that the Jews were “drumming and chanting…racist slogans against Arabs and Palestinians.”
The Jordanian report carried an illustrative picture from its archives of the Al Aqsa mosque covered by smoke, presumably from rifle fire or grenades thrown by Jews "attacking" the holy site.
In fact, Jerusalem police keep the monthly recital of Psalms far from the entrance to the Temple Mount and delivered a briefing to the participants before the procession to the closed gates, warning them not to stray from the prescribed route and not to engage in any incitement. There rarely is any trouble, the worst usually being a rock or bottle thrown by an Arab resident from a home overlookng the procession route.
Drums and music accompany the participants who recite several Psalms at several gates before dispersing. The last stop usually is an area generally closed to Jews and facing the Temple Mount.
Jordan News Agency editor Abid Bambra told Arutz Sheva Tuesday morning, “We are not responsible for the accuracy the correspondent’s article.”
Questioned abut the incitement, she said that any complaints could be directed to the agency’s office.
David Ha'ivri a long time activist for Jewish rights on the Temple Mount said, "The account by Jordan News is ridiculous. The Temple Mount is closed to Jewish visitors asides for highly restricted visits, which are monitored by both Israeli police and Islamic Walkf. Jews are not even allowed to utter a prayer on the Mount which is Judaism's most holy place. Recently I was detained by the police and taken in for questioning on suspicions that I had bowed down there."