Israel Police and a group of Jewish worshipers clashed on Wednesday in the Temple Mount compound. Police said a group Jewish visitors violated the terms of the visit and created a provocation that caused a feud at the place. Videos of the incident show that Palestinians were also involved in the riots.
Police removed and detained a large group of people “in order to identify them and understand the chain of events,” according to a statement released after the incident.
Right-wing legal aid NGO Honenu said that some 40 Jewish visitors were detained in the incident. Police stressed that it is working “within a wide range of checks and balances, while keeping the law and the rules of the site, and will not allow anyone to break the law.”
The Returning to the Mount movement blamed the police for picking on the Jewish visitors instead of dealing with Arab rioters.
“We condemn the treatment of Jews by police on the Temple Mount,” a statement reads. “Not only do the Jews go up [to the Mount] under supervision and restrictions as though they lived in an apartheid regime, they also get arrested when they try to defend themselves against provocations of the terrorists of the Wakf – the Jordanian representatives who think that they rule the Temple Mount.
“It is about time to determine who is the sovereign on the Temple Mount – the State of Israel or the enemy state of Jordan.”
Aviv Tatarsky, a researcher at the NGO Ir Amim, said that despite today’s events, there is a growing trend of cooperation between police and Jewish visitors at the compound.
“This is not the first time the Temple [Mount] activists have abused their right to visit there in order to breach the status quo,” he said.
“The worrying thing is that in recent months the police, in various ways, has been assisting the Temple groups that arrive at the compound. The incident today is a wake-up call to the police to cease cooperation with this extremist group and perform its duty on the Temple Mount without bias,” he added.