Two members of a group of roughly 30 radical right-wing demonstrators were arrested near Jaffa Gate Tuesday evening for incitement and disturbing public order upon attempting to march from Jaffa Gate to the Temple Mount without police supervision or approval.
According to police, the demonstrators didn’t get far past Jaffa Gate when they were stopped by officers at approximately 5:30 p.m.
for the illegal demonstration, which was intended to demand entry and Jewish sovereignty over the disputed holy site.
Two of the group’s members who refused to cease marching were arrested. No one was injured during the conflict, and the remaining members of the group were dispersed, police said.
“The most important thing is that this group, which did not coordinate with police and attempted to take the law in their own hands, didn’t get anywhere near the Temple Mount,” said Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld hours after the incident.
The organizers of the march contended that “independence in our country is not complete as long as there is not Jewish sovereignty in the holiest place in the world,” in a press release prior to the march.
Although the Supreme Court has upheld Jewish prayer rights at the Temple Mount – which is overseen by the Wakf Muslim religious trust – the court also allows police to prevent any form of worship there if they believe such activities will incite a “disturbance to the public order.”
The frequently violent Arab response to Jewish visitation to the Temple Mount has a history dating back to when the Wakf was given oversight following the Six Day War in 1967.
Right-wing and some mainstream politicians and activists continue to demand that the government assert control over the area and allow greater access to members of all religions.