Jerusalem District Police arrested a Jewish youth Monday who is suspected of incitement at the Temple Mount, where he allegedly repeatedly called out "Muhammad is a pig." The incident marked the second such arrest of a Jewish visitor to the Temple Mount for making the insult to Islam's prophet in recent days.
Police arrested the youth based on a video clip which allegedly shows him taunting Muslims with the insult outside the gates of the Temple Mount in the Old City on Sunday.
The youth was arrested Monday morning upon arriving at the Western Wall and was being interrogated.
The police emphasized that they would not allow such provocations and disturbance to public order by Jews or Muslims at the holy site.
The incident came amid heightened tensions at the Temple Mount, which saw large-scale rioting on Sunday
and the arrest of a Jewish woman last week, who also nearly sparked riots when she yelled, "Muhammad is a pig."
The confrontation for which 20-year-old Avia Morris was arrested last week was also recorded by a witness, and went viral shortly thereafter, further inflaming tensions.
Temple Mt. riots on Tisha Be'av
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said police removed Morris from the area when a group of Jews and Muslims nearly came to blows, and subsequently placed her under arrest for disturbing the public order.
On Sunday, following her release, Morris detailed the series of events that preceded her arrest.
“I went up to the Temple Mount on Thursday, with women and babies,” she told Arutz Sheva. “Throughout the walk, for about 40 minutes, we were surrounded by dozens of Arabs screaming at us and following us; they shouted ‘slaughter the Jews’ and ‘Allah Akbar,’ and made the ISIS [Islamic State] gesture.”
Morris added that, despite being surrounded by police, the officers did nothing as the Arab mob continued to shout threats and encroach on the Jewish group.
“The police ignored our requests and said if we were to say one word they would take us down from the Mount and arrest us,” she said. “They did not stop their attempts to hurt our feelings and to try to insult Judaism.”
After what Morris described as an hour of anti-Semitic “provocations and humiliations,” she said she insulted the Prophet Muhammad, at which time the police took action.
“Only after we began to respond and I said ‘Muhammad is a pig’ [did] the police distance them from us,” she said. “Suddenly they were able to keep them at bay.”
Later, Morris said, she was arrested at her home in the West Bank’s Binyamin region.
During her arraignment at Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court, Morris said police claimed that she incited the unrest. However, after the presiding judge reviewed the videotape, Morris was released with the provision that she must stay away from the Old City for the next several days.
Despite the trauma she experienced, Morris said she felt compelled to retaliate during the altercation.
“It is impossible to remain silent over the humiliation of the Jews on the Temple Mount and the incitement to murder against us,” she said.
“When we accept it, the police chief does not address it.”
Morris continued, “Only if we begin to respond [to the harassment] will the police know how to silence them.”