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Police Prepare For Possible Temple Mount Clashes

reprinted from The Jerusalem Post
February 21, 2012 Tuesday 28 Shevat 5772

Jerusalem Police raid Jerusalem apartment, arrest right-wing activist, seize materials calling on Jews to ascend to Temple Mount.

Jerusalem Police were preparing for the possibility of clashes between right-wing activists and Palestinians on and around the Temple Mount Tuesday morning. The preparations came after a call was put out by Palestinian activists to come and "protect" the Temple mount after right-wing activists said they would ascend to the holy site, Channel 10 reported.

Overnight Monday, police raided an apartment in Jerusalem's Ramot neighborhood and found extremist right-wing materials related to the Temple Mount. Police arrested one activist and took him for investigation.

On Sunday, Police arrested 18 Muslims during unrest that broke out on the Temple Mount after 50 protesters pelted tourists and officers with stones.

Jerusalem Police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said the protesters were reacting to reports that a group of Jews bent on destroying the Aksa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock and building the Third Temple on the site planned to ascend the Temple Mount en masse.

There were similar rumors of such an attempt to be led by Likud activist Moshe Feiglin the previous Sunday.

The incident came after unfounded Palestinians reports that a group of “religious [Jewish] Israelis” tried to “storm” the Temple Mount on Sunday morning, according to Jordanian semi-official newspaper Ad-Dustour.

Palestinian sources claimed over the weekend that a group of Jews would try to storm the Temple Mount in order to “strengthen Israeli sovereignty over the site,” according to the newspaper.

No Jewish visitors were on the Temple Mount during the altercation, police said. The site remained opened to tourists throughout the day.

Last week, Likud activists, including Feiglin, tried to enter the Temple Mount, but police barred them from entry. Officers accused the activists of trying to disrupt public order after a poster publicizing the event called for thousands to come and “Purify the site from the enemies of Israel who stole the land, and build the Third Temple on the ruins of the mosques.” Feiglin denied that Likud activists made the posters.

Last Sunday protests also broke out in Amman, near the Israeli Embassy, in reaction to the news of the attempt by Likud members to visit the Temple Mount.

Melanie Lidman and Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.

 

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