Arabs riot on Temple Mount on Ramadan; hundreds arrested, many injured

Following Muslim prayer services, violent Arab youth began throwing rocks at Jewish worshipers at the Western Wall on the eve of the Passover holiday.

By World Israel News Staff

Three police officers were injured on the Temple Mount Friday morning during clashes with Arab rioters on the second day of Ramadan.

According to police, dozens of Arab youths, some wearing masks, began marching with Hamas and Palestinian Liberation Organization flags at approximately 4 a.m.

At about 6:30 a.m., following prayer services, they began throwing rocks and fireworks at Jewish worshipers at the Western Wall on the eve of the Passover holiday.

Hundreds of youth then barricaded themselves inside the Al Aqsa Mosque, from where they threw rocks and fireworks at police who had entered the area in response to the violence, using tear gas to disperse the rioters.

Police at first did not enter the mosque, not wanting to disrupt the Muslim prayer service, but afterwards they did so in order to quell the violence, which they said was detrimental to worshipers as well as to the general public.

“Israeli police entered Al-Aqsa Mosque in order to disperse violent rioters desecrating the site and endangering the public. The mosque has now reopened for prayers. Israel continues to ensure freedom of worship in Jerusalem,” Israel’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement just after 11 a.m.

“Following this morning’s violent events, the Israeli Police will continue to allow and support the freedom of worship on the Second Friday of Ramadan,” the MFA said.

Three officers were injured; two were taken to a hospital.

Approximately 152 rioters were also injured, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.

“We are working to calm things on the Temple Mount and throughout Israel. At the same time, we are prepared for any scenario,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett stated during a visit to the the Border Police Undercover Unit of Judea and Samaria Friday morning.

“From here I would like to thank the police personnel, soldiers and ISA agents who are dedicating all of their time, who are working day and night and forgoing their Passover seder so that all of us can celebrate with security and quiet. The security forces are prepared for any mission.”

Over 300 Arabs were arrested.

The Temple Mount is Judaism’s holiest site and Islam’s third-holiest, after Mecca and Medina.