9 Jews expelled from Temple Mount

Sunday morning passes relatively peacefully, as police brace for Arab violence over Passover holiday and thousands of Jewish visitors.

Ari Soffer , | updated: 11:56 AM

Jewish visitors to Temple Mount (file)
Jewish visitors to Temple Mount (file)
Corinna Kerr/Flash 90

Nine Jewish visitors were expelled from the Temple Mount Sunday morning, for allegedly breaking the rules banning all forms of non-Muslim worship.

The individuals were removed by police, who are currently on high alert across Jerusalem as the Chol Hamoed period of Passover begins Sunday.

Security forces are bracing for an increase in Arab violence targeting Jewish pilgrims and vacationers over the seven-day festival.

As part of security measures forces are scrutinizing Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount - hundreds of which are expected to arrive on Sunday - to ensure none of them attempt to pray and "provoke" Muslim violence on Judaism's holiest site.

Despite its status as the holiest site in Judaism, Muslim authorities maintain near-total control of the Temple Mount - which they call Al Aqsa - and routinely threaten violence if Jews are allowed to worship there as well.

A number of minor altercations broke out on Sunday morning at the site between Jewish visitors and groups of Muslims - including members of the Waqf Islamic trust. According to police the clashes began when Islamists harassed the Jewish visitors, chanting slogans and attempting to intimidate them.

The Temple Mount was open to Jews until 11:30 a.m. this morning. During that time some 800 visitors ascended the site, including 685 tourists.

In addition to the hundreds of Jewish Temple Mount visitors, many thousands of pilgrims are expected to visit Jerusalem in general on Sunday.