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Despite Warnings, Quiet at the Temple Mount

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

by Melanie Lidman

Reports of right-wing Jews ascending to Jerusalem holy site inspired call for Arabs to come "protect" the Temple Mount

The Temple Mount was relatively quiet on Tuesday, despite preparations for clashes between right-wing Jewish activists and Muslim worshippers at the Al Aqsa Mosque. Jerusalem Police prepared for the possibility of stone throwing or other incitement after a call was put out by Muslims to come and "protect" the Temple Mount after right-wing activists said they would ascend to the holy site.

Police raided an apartment in Jerusalem's Ramot neighborhood overnight on Monday and found extremist right-wing materials related to the Temple Mount, including flyers from an extremist website. Police arrested one activist and took him for questioning. The activist is familiar to police as one of the central figures in the extremist website "Our Temple Mount," said Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben Ruby.

The Temple Mount stayed open to non-Muslim visitors on Sunday, though police increased their presence significantly around the site, Ben-Ruby said. On Tuesday afternoon, a number of Arab youth threw rocks and shoes at police officers accompanying a group of visitors. One police officer was injured in the head and treated on site.

The website organizes tours and demonstrations in support of Jewish sovereignty of the Temple Mount. Activists involved with the site believe that rebuilding the Third Temple will only occur after destroying the Muslim buildings currently in the compound, including the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa Mosque.

Two weeks ago, the website called for members of the Likud Central Committee to join Likud primary candidate Moshe Feiglin at the Temple Mount on his monthly visit. "Purify the site from the enemies of Israel who stole the land, and build the Third Temple on the ruins of the mosques," the flyer read.

Feiglin and two activists were denied access and the site was closed to non-Muslims amid fears of incitement.

On Sunday, a group of approximately 50 Arabs threw stones at Christian tourists and police patrols, prompted by reports in the Jordanian press of more attempts by right-wing activists to ascend to the Temple Mount. Police arrested 24 people during the day on Sunday in connection with the stone throwing.

 

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