Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded on the riots on the Temple Mount overnight, when police removed a group of Muslim worshippers who barricaded themselves inside the Al Aqsa Mosque in violation of agreements between Israeli authorities and the Jordanian Waqf.
"Israel is acting to maintain the status quo and calm the situation on the Temple Mount," Netanyahu said.
He noted that the rioters' actions harmed Muslims who merely came to Mosque for Ramadan prayers and not to confront Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount. "Muslim worshippers in the Al Aqsa Mosque are asserting that the Islamic extremists who barricaded themselves inside the Mosque locked them in and prevented other Muslims from going to the Mosque to pray."
"They barricaded themselves with weaponry, rocks and fireworks.
"After the authorities' attempts at dialogue failed, and the extremists were refusing to allow Muslim worshippers to enter the Mosque, and even threatened the holding of afternoon prayers today, the security forces were compelled to act in order to restore order.
"Israel is committed to maintaining freedom of worship, free access for all faiths and the status quo on the Temple Mount, and will not allow violent extremists to change this," the Prime Minister concluded.