Palestinian Arabs riot on Temple Mount, attack police

Palestinian rioters threw stones at police stationed at an entrance to the compound.

By World Israel News Staff and AP

Palestinians rioted after Friday prayers at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem, which sits atop Judaism’s holiest site, the Temple Mount. Three rioters were wounded.

Palestinians launched a series of far more violent clashes at the site in April and May, which helped ignite last month’s 11-day Gaza war. The site is the holiest in the world for Jews, and the third holiest in Islam, according to some Muslims.

It has frequently been the scene of Palestinian violence.

Israeli police refrained from entering the compound, possibly on the orders of Israel’s newly sworn-in government.

Palestinians could be seen throwing stones at police stationed at an entrance to the compound.

Hundreds demonstrated after Friday prayers in response to a rally held by Jewish Israelis on Tuesday. The Palestinians protested against insulting Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, after online video showed some of the participants in the Tuesday march denigrating him.

Tensions have remained high since an informal cease-fire halted the Gaza war on May 21. Tuesday’s rally was held to celebrate Israel’s reunification of Jerusalem, including the Old City and its Jewish holy sites, during the 1967 war.

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In Gaza, meanwhile, terrorists mobilized by the Iranian proxy Hamas sent incendiary balloons across the border to destroy Israeli property in a campaign of arson attacks, setting fields and farmland ablaze. Israel launched airstrikes on Wednesday and Thursday, targeting Hamas facilities.

There were no casualties from the strikes, but the violence risked unraveling the truce brokered by Egyptian mediators, who have been meeting with both Israel and Hamas to solidify it.

Israel swore in a new government last weekend, ending Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12 years in power. It relies on a fragile coalition of parties from across Israel’s political spectrum, and is expected to sideline the Palestinian issue as much as possible