The violence is taking place during the Jewish holiday of Passover, when hundreds of thousands of Jews are expected to visit the Western Wall plaza, situated right below the Temple Mount.
By Aryeh Savir, TPS
After the widespread Muslim riots on Friday on the Temple Mount, hundreds of Muslim rioters resumed their attacks on Israeli forces on Sunday, attempting to disrupt the order and block the visits of Jews to the holy site.
The rioters launched fireworks and the police and placed obstacles on the routes which the Jews usually traverse.
Police forces on the Temple Mount worked to fend off the rioters to enable visits to the holy site to continue as usual. Several arrests were made.
The police stated that “along with these visits [by Jews], full freedom of worship will continue to be maintained for the public who worship on the Temple Mount [Muslims]. The Israel Police will continue to act against lawbreakers and rioters to maintain public peace and security.”
Jewish visitors were admitted to the Temple Mount after a slight delay. After the first group of more than 100 entered, despite the obstacles, police opened the site for the entry of Jews via alternative routes.
Several buses on their way to the site were attacked Sunday morning by dozens of Arabs throwing rocks. Heavy damage was caused to the buses; a few Israelis were lightly injured, and some were evacuated to a hospital for treatment. The police said there were arrests.
The violent attacks are occurring during the Jewish holiday of Passover, when hundreds of thousands of Jews are expected to visit Jerusalem’s Old City and the Western Wall plaza, situated right below the Temple Mount.
Massive Muslim riots on Friday, the second in the Muslim month of Ramadan, which lasted for hours, ended with 470 Muslims arrested, 130 locked up, and dozens injured. The majority of the detainees were released under restrictive conditions.
On Saturday night, dozens of Arabs demonstrated in Nazareth in protest of Friday’s clashes on the Temple Mount. The protesters set fire to tires and blocked roads. Police arrested seven rioters suspected of assaulting police officers.
Commenting on the Temple Mount riots, Foreign Minister Lapid stated that “the convergence of Passover, Ramadan, and Easter is symbolic of what we have in common. We must not let anyone turn these holy days into a platform for hate, incitement, and violence.”
“The riots on the Temple Mount are unacceptable and go against the spirit of the religions we believe in. Israel is committed to freedom of worship for people of all faiths in Jerusalem, and our goal is to enable peaceful prayer for believers during the Ramadan holiday,” he said.