Dozens of Jews who hoped to ascend to the Temple Mount for the holiday of Hoshana Raba Wednesday encountered, instead, a police refusal to let them in, rock-throwing Arabs and the sound of stun grenades.
The Temple Movements reported that after barring hundreds of Jews from entering the Mount Tuesday, local police commander Avi Biton promised to allow free access to Jews Wednesday. However, overnight, rumors began to spread, about the intention of radical Muslims to spend the night on the Mount and prevent police from opening it up properly for visitors.
Wednesday morning, the Jews who arrived at the gates at the appointed hour for entering found them locked. An hour passed, and the gates were open, but stun grenades were heard popping – as sign of conflict between the police and Muslims.
Dozens of Jews were allowed in, in groups of ten each, with police acting as a human barrier between them and the Muslims. However, this did not last long. Police soon told the Jews to cut short their visits to two minutes and to leave the Mount.
While voicing anger at the police for its inability to bring the Muslim rioting under control, activists noted that there has been an improvement lately in police attitudes toward them. "The police have learned to differentiate between Jewish pilgrims and tourists, and they give precedence to the Jews," they explained.
The Temple Organizations Headquarters issued a stern statement following the events. "It is unacceptable that police in such large forces cannot safeguard free and regular visits on the Temple Mount," they said. "The Temple Organizations demand that the events be investigated, and that those responsible for the recurrent malfunctions be dismissed."
In a video uploaded by activist Yehuda Glick, a Jew can be heard uttering the prayer for the safety of the IDF's soldiers and Israel's security forces.