Arab riots break out on Temple Mount

“The Israeli police will not allow violations of public order in the Temple Mount area and will work to prevent any riots or calls of a nationalistic background,” a spokesperson said.

By World Israel News Staff

As roughly 8,000 Muslim worshipers ended their prayers on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem on Friday, several hundred Arabs began to riot and violate public order, Israeli police said.

In response, the district commander of the Israeli Police sent forces to restore order and eject rioters from the holy site.

“The Israeli police will not allow violations of public order in the Temple Mount area, and will work to prevent any riots or calls of a nationalistic background,” a spokesperson said.

This is far from the first time riots have broken out on the Temple Mount.

In August, Arab riots erupted on the Mount when Tisha b’Av, the Jewish memorial day for the destruction of the First and Second Jewish Temples, fell on the same day as the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha (“Feast of the Sacrifice”), which commemorates the biblical Abraham’s readiness to sacrifice his son.

In June, Arabs rioted on the Temple Mount when authorities granted permission to Jewish visitors to enter on Jerusalem Day, which happened to fall during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

In another instance, in July 2017, two Druze Israeli policemen were shot and critically wounded when Arab terrorists opened fire. They succumbed to their wounds.

“The Temple Mount is in second place after Mecca and Medina. No one really makes pilgrimages to the Temple Mount. There is no Hajj here. For them, the fact that Israel captured the Temple Mount is outstanding leverage, but their real goal is elsewhere – it’s conflict,” Likud MK Avi Dichter, former Israeli security chief, told Israel Hayom in October.

Despite capturing the Temple Mount – Judaism’s holiest site and Islam’s third-holiest – from Jordan in the 1967 Six Day War, when the Jewish state was under attack by the surrounding Arab countries, Israel gave the Jordanian Waqf, or Islamic Trust, administrative control of the site. As part of the Israel-Jordan peace treaty signed in 1994, Jordan was given official status as custodian of Muslim holy sites.

In the years since, the number of Jews ascending the Mount has grown significantly, despite the Waqf’s prohibition of non-Muslim prayer on the site.