March 16, 2014
Housing Minister Uri Ariel visits site after incident, says situation is ‘unacceptable’
by Marissa Newman
Palestinian youths hurled stones at Israeli police officers at the Mughrabi Gate entrance to the Temple Mount on Sunday morning. No injuries were reported.
Additional police units arrived at the scene, dispersing rioters, and increasing security on the Temple Mount.
Tourists and Israelis enter the Temple Mount at designated hours through the Mughrabi Gate, the only non-Muslim entrance to the holy plaza.
Shortly afterward, Minister of Housing and Construction Uri Ariel arrived at the scene for a pre-scheduled tour of the Temple Mount, and was informed by police he would be barred from the area due to the earlier riots. Ariel insisted on touring regardless of the security threat, but cut his visit short.
“The reality where there are disturbances on the Temple Mount and these prevent Jews from ascending is unacceptable,” Ariel said. “I went up this morning and I intend to continue to do so in the future, and I demand from the security forces to secure Jewish sovereignty and allow any Jew to go to the Temple Mount freely.”
On February 27, officers were pelted with stones and firecrackers at the Mughrabi Gate. Two officers were lightly injured and three suspects were arrested. Earlier in February, hundreds of young worshipers hurled rocks at Israeli police on Temple Mount just after Muslim Friday prayers concluded at the al-Aqsa mosque. Police forces broke up the demonstration using stun grenades. No injuries were reported. Five suspects were arrested in the incident.
Gavriel Fiske and Lazar Berman contributed to this report.