“We wanted to stop and pray and study [but] the Waqf arrived and screamed we had to keep moving forward,” said a Jewish visitor.
By World Israel News Staff
Thousands of Jews ascended the Temple Mount on Sunday morning on the fast day of Tisha b’Av, a day of mourning over the destruction of both the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem.
The Temple Mount, where the temples stood, is Judaism’s holiest site and Islam’s third-holiest, after Mecca and Medina.
Hamas and other Gaza-based terror organizations had warned Jews not to ascend the Mount, but the threats were ignored by the visitors. Muslims at the site also attempted to “block the settlers,” TPS reported.
Hamas called on Muslims to stream to the Temple Mount and “block the settlers’ storming of the site.”
One Jewish visitor, Nehama Dina Ernstoff, told Arutz 7 about her experience, saying Muslims were throwing stones while police prevented the assailants from hitting them.
“We wanted to stop and pray and study [but] the Waqf arrived and screamed we had to keep moving forward.”
The Waqf is the Jordanian Islamic Trust that administers the site.
“Instead of letting the Jews mourn in front of the Holy of Holies, the police took us out and submitted to the demands of the Waqf,” Ernstoff said.
“If I have not felt the destruction until now – today I am sure of what I am mourning, for the fact that the State of Israel is sovereign on the Temple Mount but in practice succumbs to the demands of the Waqf and the fickle moods of the Israel Police, she added.
Bennett assures Muslims of freedom of worship on site
Also on Sunday morning, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett held an assessment of the situation with the participation of the Public Security Minister and the Israel Police Inspector General regarding events on the Temple Mount.
Bennett, who was receiving updates throughout the day, instructed that the organized and safe visits by Jews to the Temple Mount continue, the prime minister’s media adviser said.
Later in the afternoon, Bennett thanked the Public Security Minister and the Israel Police Inspector General for managing the events on the Temple Mount “with responsibility and consideration, while maintaining freedom of worship for Jews on the Mount,” his spokesperson said.
Bennett emphasized that freedom of worship on the Temple Mount will be fully preserved for Muslims as well.
On Saturday night, several hundred Jews took part in an annual protest march organized by “Women in Green” around the walls of the Old City, calling on the government to make the Temple Mount under Israeli control and allow Jews to pray there.