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Temple Mount reopens after rioting forces closure

reposted from Times of Israel
November 5, 2014 Heshvan 12, 5775

Police find Molotov cocktails, stones in Al Aqsa Mosque the day after Fatah raises call to prevent Jewish entry to compound

by Elhanan Miller and Stuart Winer

The Temple Mount was briefly closed to visitors on Wednesday morning, after Palestinians at the site threw rocks and set off fireworks at security forces near the gate used by non-Muslims to enter the site.

Police countered the masked rioters near the Mughrabi Gate with crowd dispersal methods including stun grenades, a police spokesman said.

Israel Radio reported that police chased the rioters back into the Al Aqsa Mosque. Police took the rare measure of entering several meters into the mosque, where they saw a stash of stones, bottles, and Molotov cocktails that the demonstrators had prepared.

Dozens of Jews who had tried to visit the Temple Mount compound in protest over the shooting of activist Yehudah Glick last week were barred from entering while the disruption was in progress.

The site was later reopened to all visitors, police said.

Balad MK Hanin Zouabi also tried to enter the site Wednesday along with a delegation from the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee, but was refused access, Ynet reported.

The clashes come a day after the Fatah movement called on Palestinians to keep Jews from visiting the contested site.

The Fatah movement posted a notice on its official Facebook page Tuesday titled “call to arms” and directed at “all Jerusalem residents and Arab Israelis.” It warned of plans for a purported “consolidated storming of Al-Aqsa a week after the assassination attempt of the extremist rabbi Yehudah Glick.” The notice included a translation of a Hebrew poster which calls on Jews to flock to the Temple Mount Wednesday morning in a state of ritual purity and with no leather shoes, “for the sake and health of rabbi Yehudah Glick.”

“The terrorist sought to murder Yehudah and halt his blessed and vigorous activities for the return of Israel to the Temple Mount. We will not succumb to terror, we will not let terror win,” the poster declared.

Glick, who is still hospitalized in serious condition, is a leading advocate for Jewish prayer at the Temple Mount, which has been forbidden by Israel since it captured the area in the 1967 war. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday he had no intention of lifting that ban.

Several right-wing Knesset members visited the Temple Mount this week — including Jewish Home deputy Shuli Moalem-Refaeli, who was physically assaulted at the site, and Likud’s Moshe Feiglin and Tzipi Hotoveli — despite appeals from Netanyahu to colleagues to calm tensions surrounding the contested area.

Two weeks ago, PA President Mahmoud Abbas notified his Fatah party that he would take international legal action against Israel for its “vicious attack on Al-Aqsa.”

Fatah, as well as Islamic Jihad, has claimed responsibility for the attempt on Glick’s life by Begin Center employee Mu’taz Hijazi. Following his killing by Israeli security forces on October 30, Abbas sent a condolence letter to Hijazi’s family, referring to him as a martyr — a move that prompted bitter criticism from Netanyahu, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and others.


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