Rioters pelt police with stones on Temple Mou
Rioters pelt police with stones on Temple Mou Flash 90

Dov Kalmanovitz, the Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem, demanded that the Israeli Police to close the Temple Mount to Arab visitors on Wednesday, following continued rioting at Judaism's holiest site.

"Tomorrow there will be Birkat Kohanim (the Priestly Blessing Ceremony - ed.), the Chief Rabbis will visit the Western Wall and thousands will flood the Jewish quarter," Kalmanovitz noted to Arutz Sheva, adding that many foreign tourists had visited to celebrate the Passover holiday. 

"It is inconceivable that the Israeli Police prevents Jews, who want to ascend the Temple Mount, from entering, and allows Arabs - who riot - to continue to respect the mosques there and throw stones," he added. Kalmanovitz then called on police "to maintain security" at the Mount - "either by allowing Jews to ascend to the Mount or by closing it completely." 

"We need to make order out of the chaos which erupts at the site every holiday," he stressed. "I already expect Arabs to throw stones tomorrow at the Western Wall. We should teach the Arabs a lesson for once and close it for them [too]."

Earlier Wednesday, police forces closed the Mount to Jewish visitors after Muslims began rioting on Judaism's holiest site. 

The closure is the latest in a long history of anti-Jewish discrimination at the site, which continues due to pressure from the Waqf Muslim Authority. 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.