Hundreds of rioting Palestinians arrested for attacking police at Temple Mount

Rioters barricade themselves inside Al-Aqsa Mosque with fireworks, clubs, projectiles; Israeli police efforts to clear area spark condemnation from terror groups, Arab countries.

By World Israel News Staff

At least 350 people were arrested in the early hours of Wednesday morning at the Temple Mount compound after hundreds of rioters barricaded themselves inside Al-Aqsa Mosque with fireworks, rocks, and other projectiles.

Hundreds of masked young men locked the doors of the mosque and placed heavy objects blocking the entryways late Tuesday evening, sparking police concerns that they would use their stockpiled weapons to attack Jewish visitors to the compound the next morning.

Police entered the mosque after midnight to clear the area after repeatedly asking people to clear the site; they were met with hurled objects and fireworks launched in their direction. Social media footage showed fires raging inside the mosque, which were likely sparked by the rioters’ fireworks.

“The rioters caused damage to the mosque and desecrated it,” police said in a statement. Israeli authorities said that some 350 people had been detained during the clashes.

Terror groups immediately seized upon the incident, calling on Palestinians to clash with police at the site.

“We warn the occupation against committing foolish actions that affect al-Aqsa Mosque, and we call on our struggling Palestinian people to mobilize, raise the level of readiness, tighten the journey, intensify the bond and retreat in the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, and repel the occupation’s aggression and thwart the plans of its terrorist settlers,” said the Gaza-based Hamas terror group in a statement.

The Jordanian Foreign Ministry condemned the arrests in a statement, accusing “the occupation police” of “storming of the blessed al-Aqsa Mosque and assaulting it.”

The statement added that “Israel bears responsibility for the dangerous consequences of this escalation.”

Calling the police activity a “dangerous escalation,” the Egyptian Foreign Ministry charged that “such hateful and reprehensible scenes… fuel the feelings of wrath and anger among all the Palestinian people, the Islamic peoples and people of living conscience worldwide.”

“This is the violent apartheid government of Israel,” wrote Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) on Twitter, alongside a video of the arrests. “This is horrific.”

Hours after the arrests, Gaza terrorists launched nine rockets at Israel’s southern communities, damaging a factory in the Negev city of Sderot.