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Muslim Riots Reach Temple Mount

reprinted from Arutz 7
Adar 14, 5770, 28 February 10 10:14

by Gil Ronen

( The riots that began in Hevron last week reached the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on the morning of the Purim holiday (Sunday). The riots started Monday after the government decided to include the Cave of Patriarchs in Hevron – Judaism's second most holy site – in a list of national heritage sites to receive extra funding, as well as the Tomb of Rachel the Matriarch near Bethlehem.

About 30 Arab Muslim youths threw rocks at visitors to the Temple Mount Sunday. A police force reacted by entering the mosque compound and the Arab attackers fled into the Al Aqsa mosque.

The Temple Mount mosques' public address speakers broadcast calls of incitement in the morning hours, including anti-Jewish phrases, calls for 'jihad' (holy war) and cries of "allahu akbar" - "Allah is great."

There has also been ongoing violence between police and Arabs in the alleys of the Old City. Muslim youths have attacked police with rocks at the "Antonia Gate" entrance to the Temple Mount.

No casualties have been reported. One suspect was arrested near the Ecce Homo arch.

Dozens holed up in Aksa Mosque

reprinted from Jerusalem Post

Tense calm on Temple Mount after police storm compound following disturbance at site.

A tense calm was reported on the Temple Mount Sunday morning, a couple of hours after Jerusalem police forces entered the compound following a disturbance at the site. Several dozen young Muslim men had holed themselves up in the Aksa Mosque on Saturday night and began hurling stones at visitors early Sunday morning.

The young men fled back into the mosque after security forces stormed into the compound, but some of them continued throwing rocks at police deployed in the plaza outside the building.

After failing to convince the Arab youths to leave the Aksa Mosque the previous night, the Wakf Islamic trust was negotiating with the men on Sunday morning.

Rocks were also hurled at police forces near the Antonia Gate (the Ecce Home arch on Via Doloros, thought to have been the gate of Herod's Antonia Fortress), and in several Old City alleys. One stone-hurler was arrested. A police officer was lightly hurt. According to Palestinian sources, 12 people were injured by inhaling gas fired by police.

Following the incident, police banned men under the age of 50 from the site on Sunday. Women of all ages and tourist groups will be allowed to visit the compound as usual.

Meanwhile in the West Bank, the IDF was on high alert on Sunday out of fear that settlers, celebrating Purim, will clash with Palestinians.

On Saturday, the IDF clamped a closure on the territories for the duration of Purim which will end Monday night in walled cities like Jerusalem. Additional forces will be deployed in defined “hot spots” to prevent friction between Palestinians and settlers.

While Hebron was quiet over the weekend, defense officials said there were fears that violence would escalate in the city as well as other parts of the West Bank, particularly in northern Samaria, on Purim day. Palestinians have been engaged in a series of protests following last Sunday’s cabinet decision to add the Cave of the Patriarchs to the list of national heritage sites.

Yaakov Katz contributed to this report

Riots erupt on Jerusalem's Temple Mount

reprinted from Ynet

Hebron tension spreads to Jerusalem: Youths barricaded in al-Aqsa Mosque since Saturday evening throw stones at passerby, prompting police forces to enter compound. Palestinians say eight worshippers hurt by tear gas. Stones hurled at police in Old City as well. Border Guard officer lightly injured in head.

by Efrat Weiss

Morning of clashes in Jerusalem's Old City: Police forces entered the al-Aqsa Mosque plaza at the Temple Mount on Sunday morning after dozens of Arab youths who barricaded themselves in the mosque on Saturday night began hurling stones at passersby entering the Temple Mount compound.

A Border Guard officer was lightly injured in the head by stones hurled in the Old City's alleys. He received medical treatment on site and resumed his activity.

Sources in the mosque reported that at least eight worshippers were hurt by tear gas. According to the Palestinians, hundreds of policemen encircled the mosque, demanding that the youths evacuate themselves.

The police reported that some 30 Arab youths had barricaded themselves inside the mosques and that efforts made by the Waqf (the council managing Muslim sites) to remove them had failed. Police entered the mount's plaza following the stone throwing and closed its gates, and the youths fled into the mosque.

The police then opened the mount's gates to worshippers, but restricted entrance to the site to male worshippers with Israeli identity cards over the age of 50 and to female worshippers of all ages.

The mufti of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Authority condemned the police forces' entry to the mosque compound, which he said was aimed at allowing extremists to enter the area. He warned against the serious implications of the police's entry.

Waqf sources said that Jewish worshippers had entered the compound and were protected by the police. A Jerusalem Police official strongly denied the claim, saying that "this is a lie. Some 1,000 visitors have entered the Temple Mount compound since the morning hours, both Jews and non-Jews."

Visits to the site continue as usual, although stones are occasionally being thrown from the mosques towards the police forces stationed at the entrances.

Clashes in Old City streets

Stones were occasionally thrown at police officers in the alleys of the Old City, including near the Antonia Fortress, which is one of the entrances to the Temple Mount. There were no reports of injuries. One suspect was detained for questioning.

Some 100 girls who attempted to launch a protest march in the Sultan Suleiman area in east Jerusalem were stopped by the police.

It is estimated that Sunday's events at the Temple Mount come following the tension that arose over Israel's decision to include the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem to its list of national heritage sites.

Members of the Waqf and various Islamic organizations, including the Islamic Movement, urged Muslims over the weekend to flock to the Temple Mount, claiming that "radical Jewish organizations have called on their followers to arrive at the mount today and on Tuesday in an attempt to lay the cornerstone for the temple."

The Islamic organizations also called on Muslims to be on high alert around March 16, when they said extreme Jewish organizations were planning to mark the global day for the temple's reconstruction.

Ali Waked contributed to this report



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