Tensions continued to spike in the capital Tuesday morning after two Muslim men were arrested on the Temple Mount for attacking a group of Jewish visitors, and nine Jews were removed from the site for breaching security protocols.
Video footage from Arab media emerged shortly after the incident showing the two Muslims assault the small group of Jews shortly after entering the compound. Seconds later, Border Police officers subdued the assailants following a wild melee.
“Police immediately responded at the scene and arrested two members of the Muslim Wakf [Islamic trust] for causing the disturbance,” said Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, adding that 824 non-Muslims visited the compound, including more than 300 Jews.
Following the violence, police escorted the Jewish visitors, nine of whom were subsequently removed for not complying with security measures, Rosenfeld said.
“They were supposed to enter the compound, walk in specific areas and leave,” he explained. “But they did not comply with the rules and regulations.”
No injuries were reported, and no other incidents of unrest took place in the Old City and throughout the capital on Tuesday, Rosenfeld said, noting that heightened security will continue to ensure visitors remain safe.
Tuesday’s disturbance comes less than 24 hours after the Jordanian government warned Israel of “serious consequences” after 13 Jews were removed from the compound for praying there on Sunday, disrupting an increasingly delicate and volatile status quo.
On Monday, Jordanian Media Affairs Minister Muhammad al-Momani accused “Israeli settlers and police” of flagrantly violating international laws and conventions by “storming al-Aksa Mosque.”
The ongoing and unsubstantiated allegations that the Israeli government surreptitiously intends to seize al-Aksa have led to the current wave of terrorism – what many are deeming a third intifada.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly and categorically denied the inflammatory accusations, assuring the Muslim world that Israel has no intention of altering the status quo at the site, which allows unlimited Muslim prayer and limited Jewish visitation.
On Monday, the Prime Minister’s Office issued a brief statement emphasizing that “there is absolutely no basis to these claims,” adding that “Israel is behaving responsibly, and Jordan knows that.”