Hundreds of Muslims threw stones at police officers on the Temple Mount on
Friday afternoon, following a week of confrontations between rightwing Jews and
Police arrested 14 Jews and Arabs last week, including
Likud activist Moshe Feiglin, for incidents involving violence and refusing to
obey police officers.
Toward the end of Friday prayers, hundreds of
Muslims streamed out of al-Aksa Mosque and started throwing stones at soldiers
and border police, Jerusalem deputy police spokesman Shlomit Bajshi
Police responded with force, including stun grenades. The
stone-throwers wounded two people.
An Arab man tried to stab a police
officer next to one of the gates leading to the Temple Mount, national police
spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. The knife was recovered and the man was
Rioters on the Mount threw rocks in the direction of the
Western Wall Plaza, but police officers were able to stop them before any rocks
reached Jewish worshipers below.
Police had anticipated possible
disturbances, heightening security and bringing extra units of police, border
police and soldiers both in the area of the Temple Mount and at Mugrabi Gate
(the only entrance to the Mount for non-Muslims), Rosenfeld said. However, there
were no age restrictions placed on the Muslim worshipers, such as limiting
entrance to females and to men over age 40, a common practice when police expect
Police expect a “wave of arrests” in the coming days of people
involved in Friday’s violence, Rosenfeld said.
Rabbi of the Western Wall
Shmuel Rabinowitz called on the public to continue to come to the Western Wall
during Succot, which is one of the pilgrimage holidays when Jews traditionally
visit the Western Wall. The Western Wall Plaza was filled with thousands of
people during the riot on Friday and police did not evacuate them, he
An estimated 50,000 Jews crowded into the plaza on Wednesday
morning for the Blessing of the Priests (Birkat Hakohanim). More than one
million visitors from Israel and abroad are expected to pass through Jerusalem
during the week of Succot, which ends A federal judge has ordered on Monday.