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Arab Mobs Stone Jews on Temple Mount, Two Jews Injured

Two people were treated for injuries as hundreds of Arabs pelted Jews on the Temple Mount with stones this morning. Police restored quiet after an hour.
First Publish: 6/6/2005, 2:40 PM / Last Update: 6/6/2005, 3:09 PM

Arutz-7 reporters at the entrance to the Temple Mount said that a small group of Jews was allowed to ascend to Judaism's most sacred place shortly after 9 a.m. today, the 38th anniversary of Jerusalem's reunification. Within minutes, a gang of Arabs ran out of the Dome of the Rock and attacked them with rocks.

An Arab arrested for throwing stones at Jews visiting the Temple Mount on Jerusalem Day.
Police brought in reinforcements and overpowered the attackers, firing off about seven stun grenades and arresting one Arab who attempted to jump on a visiting Jew. Two Jews were lightly hurt.

The police announced immediately afterwards that the situation had become volatile and that Jews would not be allowed to visit the site until further notice. Some journalists were later allowed onto the Mount, and hundreds of policemen were on standby. Some 50 Jews milled around the Mughrabi Gate area, where visitors to the Temple Mount ascend from the Western Wall area, hoping that the ban on their entry would be reversed within a short time. They were soon disappointed, however.

Yishai Fleisher of Arutz-7's IsraelNationalRadio was one of the reporters. Just before police ordered him off the Temple Mount, he reported, "The Arabs are having a mini-rally with flags and slogans on them. Instead of what was supposed to happen - Jews going up to the Temple Mount on our Jerusalem Day, there is an Arab ceremony guarded and permitted by the Israeli police. The police are lined up to give a perimeter for the Arab rally. I am being taken off the Temple Mount right now."

Michael Freund, in his on-line commentary, related to today's attack, saying, "The time has come for Israel to take back the Temple Mount, once and for all, and to reassert its control over the area. That is the only way to ensure that Jews, as well as others, are free to visit the site and worship there freely."

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) blamed today's Arab violence on Israel. He said that Jewish visits to the Temple Mount are "unjustified and a dangerous violation." Abu Mazen, successor to Yasser Arafat, did not explain what the Jews violated.

Police retreated from the Mount after the Wafq Islamic authority promised it would restrain Arabs from violence. The Arabs continued to chant anti-Israeli slogans, however. In other PA incitement, the PA news site reported that "Jewish extremists stormed" the Al-Aqsa mosque courtyard, and the PA accused "Israeli underground units" of attacking worshippers.