For the third morning in a row, Arabs rioted on the Temple Mount, attempting to attack groups of Jews who sought to visit the holiest site in Judaism during the Sukkot holiday. Police again Thursday deployed large numbers of officers to keep the Arabs from attacking the Jews.
Police have reported that there were mild protests during recent days, but video footage showed dozens of young Arabs actively trying to attack Jews who were visiting the Mount. In one video, a Wakf official is seen threatening to break the camera of a Jew filming footage of the Arab rioters.
Earlier in the week, Arutz Sheva reported on a large Arab riot that greeted Jews who attempted to visit the Temple Mount on the first day of Chol Hamo'ed, the intermediate days of Sukkot. “When we went up on the Temple Mount, we were greeted with cries of ‘Allah is Great,’” said Asaf Fried, one of the members of a group that visited the Mount Tuesday. “The police again did nothing, even towards the end of the visit when the Arabs really came close to us and blocked our exit, shouting, 'We will expel the Jews in blood and fire and will butcher Jews.' The police still did nothing,” and the group of Jews escaped without harm, Fried said.
During the rioting, police arrested five Arabs for attacking a police officer. One Jewish worshipper was detained as well, police said, for failing to listen to their instructions. On Tuesday, police arrested Likud activist Moshe Feiglin, along with another Israeli, for attempting to pray at the site. On Wednesday, Rabbi Yehuda Leibman, director of the Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva was taken into custody for allegedly praying at Judaism's holiest site. Later in the day, 87-year-old Dr. Menachem Ben-Yashar, a long-time activist for Jewish rights on the Mount was arrested. Also detained was Elyashiv Sherlo, son of Rabbi Yuval Sherlo, head of the Petach Tikva yeshiva.
Jewish activists once again called on police to learn how to respond more effectively to Arab riots, and to establish a procedure at the Temple Mount similar to that at the Machpelah Cave – allowing Jews access to the site, at least on Jewish holidays.