Clashes between police and Muslim worshipers on Temple Mount
Clashes between police and Muslim worshipers on Temple MountIsrael Police

The Palestinian Authority on Sunday condemned what it described as the break-in of the "Israeli occupation forces" into the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the "assault" of Muslim worshipers on the first day of the Eid al-Adha holiday.

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, blamed Israel for the violent clashes on the Temple Mount, saying it was "a major provocation of Muslim feelings," escalating the situation and increasing tensions that could drag the region to violence.

Abu Rudeineh stressed that the Al-Aqsa Mosque is a red line and one cannot remain silent in the face of repeated attacks by "the occupation and its settlers."

He also said that Abbas sends his blessing to the Palestinian Arabs in Jerusalem for their firm opposition to the plans of the "occupation", and is calling for urgent international and Arab intervention to curb Israeli aggression and arrogance.

He sent a warning message to Israel against continuing to give the "settlers" the green light to commit similar "crimes" that could turn the political conflict into a religious conflict.

The comments came hours after hundreds of Muslim worshipers rioted on the Temple Mount in an attempt to prevent Jews from visiting the holy site on Tisha B’Av, the anniversary of the destruction of the first and second Holy Temple.

The rioters chanted nationalist slogans and clashed with police. Several rioters were injured, Arab media reported.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu initially ordered that the Temple Mount be closed to Jewish visitors for the morning hours, but the compound was later opened for short visits by Jewish worshipers.