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Kotel Rabbi: Temple Mount Violence is a Disgrace

Muslim riots on the Temple Mount are proof that they are using the compound for a political struggle, says Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch.
By Elad Benari, Canada
First Publish: 2/28/2014, 9:14 PM

Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch
Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch
Flash 90

Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch, the Rabbi of the Western Wall and the Holy Sites of Israel, expressed his disgust on Friday over the ongoing Muslim violence on the Temple Mount and the attempts to harm Jewish worshippers at the Western Wall.

"There is no justification for this phenomenon of violence and demonstrations in a holy site such as this,” he said, adding, “Such actions are a disgrace and should be denounced by the entire world!”

"When did a holy place become a place to protest?" continued Rabbi Rabinovitch. “Has there even been any demonstration by Jews at the Western Wall or at any other holy site, not to mention violence?”

“These actions indicate that the 'Temple Mount' for them is nothing but a platform for political struggle, not a religious matter! I call on the world to condemn this phenomenon,” he concluded.

Police had to limit access for Muslim men to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound on Friday, to prevent possible clashes following prayer services.

On Tuesday morning clashes broke out on the site as Muslim rioters threw rocks and firecrackers at police when they opened the Rambam Gate, also known as the Mughrabi Gate, the only entrance for Jewish visitors to the holiest site in Judaism. As a result  two police were injured, and Jews were reportedly banned from the Mount.

The attack came the day of an historic Knesset debate on Jewish access and Israeli sovereignty on the Temple Mount, where Jews are often forbidden from praying, harassed and arrested.

A senior security official warned on Thursday of attempts by Hamas to "inflame" the Temple Mount, and in doing so cause chaos throughout Judea and Samaria.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)