Hundreds of Palestinians riot on Temple Mount after Friday prayers

Police say officers responded to rock-throwing by entering Temple Mount area, dispersing mobs with stun grenades.

February 8, 2014 20:21
1 minute read.
Palestinian protesters react during clashes with police on the Temple Mount [file].

Palestinian protesters on Temple Mount 370. (photo credit: Ammar Awad/Reuters)

Minutes after concluding Friday prayers, hundreds of Palestinians attacked officers with rocks at the Temple Mount.

The violence came one day after police closed the holy site to Jews to avert another riot, following numerous anonymous threats from Arabs of probable violence should any Jews ascend.

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According to police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, at approximately 12:30 p.m. the group began throwing rocks at police officers stationed there, without provocation.

“Police responded immediately by entering the Temple Mount area and dispersing the rioters, using only stun grenades in order to prevent injuries,” he said.

Rosenfeld added that seven arrests were made after riot police attempted to quell the violence.

“Luckily there were no injuries to officers,” he said, noting that police had preemptively heightened security in the area upon receiving intelligence that the Arabs intended to riot after praying.

“Security assessments were also quickly made to ensure immediately after the riot to prevent any further disturbances in and around the Old City,” Rosenfeld said.

The frequently violent Arab response to Jewish visitation rights to the Temple Mount has a long and contentious history, dating back to when the Wakf Muslim religious trust was given oversight of the holy site following the Six Day War in 1967.

Although the Supreme Court upheld Jewish prayer rights on the site, the court allows police to prevent any form of worship there if they believe such activities will incite a “disturbance to the public order.”

Right-wing Israeli politicians have repeatedly demanded Jewish sovereignty of the area, as well as greater access, to little avail.

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