Muslims riot against new Temple Mount security measures

Muslim protesters in Jerusalem Arab villages rioted against new Temple Mount security measures after Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah urged a “Day of Rage” against Israel.

Overnight Monday, Muslim protesters rioted in Arab villages in eastern Jerusalem against Israel’s new Temple Mount security checks. The violence took place after Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party encouraged a “Day of Rage” against Israel.

At least 50 Muslim Arab rioters and one Israeli police officer were reportedly wounded. The officer, treated for leg wounds caused by a rock, was reportedly in good condition given the circumstances. Muslim rioters also damaged a police squad car.

The new security arrangements, which include metal detectors, are Israel’s response to the deadly attack that claimed the lives of two Israeli Druze police officers, Kamil Shnaan and Haiel Sitawe.

Jerusalem Police Commissioner Yoram Halevi told Israel Radio that the situation in Jerusalem on Tuesday morning was characterized by a tense quiet. During the preceding night, Muslim rioters pelted police officers with stones and Molotov cocktails and set dumpsters on fire in the Silwan and Issawiya areas. Police arrested and detained several suspects.

Halevi said many rioters were encouraged by the PA’s inflammatory language against Israel. He defended Israel’s new security measures, saying, “We are determined to create [a situation of] security after the killing of two police officers. While the families are still sitting and mourning, we can’t let this just pass.”

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The Jordanian Waqf, the Muslim religious body that manages the Temple Mount, has opposed the metal detectors and urged Muslims to protest by praying outside of the security arrangements.

“If the metal detectors continue to be imposed, we call upon the people to pray in front of the gates of the mosque and in the streets of Jerusalem,” the Waqf said in a statement.

As the name suggests, the Temple Mount is the site of the two Jewish biblical Temples and is considered the holiest place in Judaism. While Jerusalem is never explicitly mentioned in the Koran, Muslims regard the Temple Mount as the third-holiest Islamic site, after Mecca and Medina.

By: Daniel Krygier, World Israel News