King Abdullah of Jordan has expressed outrage that 400 Jews visited the site of the two Holy Temples on the Temple Mount yesterday. His statement of fury ignored the simultaneous Moslem provocations and violence.
Yesterday, the 9th day of the month of Av – the date on which both Holy Temples were destroyed some 2,500 and 2,000 years ago, respectively – a relatively large number of Jews visited the site: some 400.
"We continuously struggle with repeated strikes carried out by Israel and extremist organizations in Jerusalem," the king stated, "as well as with the attempts to change the status quo in the city. We will stand fast against any attempt to harm our holy places or to divide the Al-Aqsa mosque [in terms of] area or prayer times."
As is widely known and equally widely ignored, the status quo on the Temple Mount has been harmed over the years to the detriment not of the Muslims, but of the Jews. Jews are not permitted to utter words of prayer on the Mount, and their visits are restricted to small groups, at specific hours, on specific days.
Israel Police deployed large forces on the Mount yesterday in preparation for the Jewish visitors. Seven Jews were detained for allegedly violating the rules set for visitors. When the last Jewish group left the Mount, two more Jews were detained for the same reason.
The police later reported that "while the [above-mentioned] Jews were being detained and removed from the Mount, groups of Muslims began crowding around and calling out. The police distanced them and pushed them back, and escorted the final group of Jewish visitors until the end of their visit and their exit from the Mount."
The parallel PA report added that the Muslims were calling out and chanting “Allahu Akbar”. In addition, it said, some 18 Arabs sustained various injuries in their violent clashes with the police.
Knesset Members have not been allowed to visit the Mount in recent months, by order of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Some MKs requested to visit on yesterday's day of national mourning, but Netanyahu did not accede. MK Yehuda Glick (Likud), a long-time Temple Mount activist, sat outside the entrance to the Mount and recited Tisha B'Av dirges with several other worshippers.
Even Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) was not permitted to visit the Temple Mount on Tisha B'Av. "The time has come to end this national fawning and weakness on the Temple Mount," he said, "and to raise our heads, both on days of joy and days of mourning over the destruction."