Daily Israel Report

Waqf Official Beats Jewish Man on Temple Mount

The victim was then arrested by the Israeli police for protesting the abuse, activist says.
By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 4/1/2014, 1:21 PM

Israeli policeman on on Temple Mount, Al-Aqsa Mosque
Israeli policeman on on Temple Mount, Al-Aqsa Mosque
Flash 90

Yitzhak Tessler, one of hundreds of Jews who came to ascend to the Temple Mount on Tuesday, was beaten by a Waqf Muslim Authority official.

Activist Yehuda Glick reported that Tessler asked the policeman accompanying the Jews up the mount to stop the attacks. In response, the Israeli police arrested Tessler. 

The visit was in honor of the beginning of Nissan, the month featuring the Jewish holiday of Passover. Glick notes that the situation is very tense because  dozens of Muslim employees sit in place at the Mount during the Jews' visiting hours, and verbally abuse the Jews as they ascend the Mount. 

"The police are afraid, and do not allow the entry of more than twenty to thirty Jews at once," Glick stated. "Hundreds of Jews wait an hour, two hours, and even three hours in the hot sun at the entrance, raising tensions at the Temple Mount." 

Attacks on Jews have become commonplace at the Mount, which is Judaism's holiest site. Just Sunday, former MK Michael Ben-Ari was booted from the site, for reasons that remain unclear.

"I arrived at the Temple Mount now, at the entrance the guard in the guard booth informed me that by the order of the commander I was forbidden from entering the Temple mount, with no trial, no warning, just like that," Ben-Ari wrote in a Facebook post.

Arabs continuously accuse Israel of "Judaizing" the Temple Mount, sometimes resorting to illogical accusations, such as saying that Israel is using chemicals to erode the foundations of the mosque in order to cause it to collapse.

Some Palestinian Authority (PA) officials have claimed that Israel was trying to build a new Holy Temple on the Temple Mount, replacing the Al-Aqsa Mosque. PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas himself has made claims to this effect.

The reality is that it is Jews, not Arabs, who are discriminated against when they want to visit the Temple Mount.

Israeli police, in an attempt to appease the Muslim Waqf which was left in charge of the compound after the 1967 Six Day War, ban Jews from praying or performing any other form of worship.

Police sometimes close the Mount to Jews altogether in response to Muslim riots - for days or weeks at a time - despite evidence that such violence is usually planned in advance for the specific purpose of forcing Jews out.

Jordan recently threatened to revoke its 1994 peace treaty with Israel over a historic debate in the Knesset about providing full religious freedom at Judaism's holiest site. 

Under the peace treaty, Jordan controls Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem. The Temple Mount falls under this category, despite being Judaism's holiest site and the site of the two Jewish Temples, and the Muslim world has been adamant about keeping it in Muslim hands.