Police officers ascended the Temple Mount before dawn Wednesday and removed a pro-Hamas banner inciting violence that had been hung at the holy site.
On Tuesday, Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir (Otzma Yehudit) demanded police explain why the banner had not yet been removed. The banner read: "Our existence is meaningless if we are not seek out Al-Aqsa. The resistance has not yet had its final word."
Early Wednesday morning, at Ben-Gvir's request, police officers entered the Temple Mount and removed the banner, while hundreds of Arabs protested the move.
Carrying the flag of Hamas or signs containing incitement to violence on the Temple Mount is illegal and can lead to the offender being arrested and barred from the mount. However, police often refrain from arresting violators when tens or even hundreds of thousands of Muslim worshipers are on the Temple Mount at one time.
Earlier this month, the government closed the holy site to Jewish visitors for the remainder of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
Tom Nisani, executive director of the 'Beyadenu' organization, protested the decision, saying: "Who would have believed that under the right-wing government we would see a banner supporting Hamas and encouraging terrorism emblazoned in the heart of the Temple Mount, all the more so on Holocaust Remembrance Day. I'm ashamed".