Muslim activist claims Israel staged firebombing at holy site

Israeli police reopen Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque following violent clashes.

By DIMA ABUMARIA/ THE MEDIA LINE
March 16, 2019 04:39
2 minute read.
Muslim activist claims Israel staged firebombing at holy site

Explosive device thrown on Temple Mount . (photo credit: ARAB SOCIAL MEDIA)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Israeli authorities reopened the al-Aqsa Mosque to Muslim worshipers starting from dawn prayers on Wednesday, a day after police closed the entire site following clashes with Palestinians.
 
The closure came after what Israel said was a Molotov cocktail thrown at a police station just inside the plaza that Arabs call Haram al-Sharif, and Jews the Temple Mount. Police said that 10 people were arrested in connection with the firebombing.
 
Hanadi Halawani, one of a group of Palestinians who voluntarily remain at the al-Aqsa to watch over it, said she witnessed the incident and claimed to The Media Line that it had been staged by police, saying Israeli authorities didn’t move to extinguish the blaze, "which proves that they were behind it."
 
She further blamed Israeli security forces for the resulting unrest.
 
“They started at al-Rahma gate, where they insulted worshipers,” Halawani said. “Then the police escalated the clashes to an outdoor area."
 
She believes that Israel wants to show Muslims, as well as the whole world, that it controls the mosque and is responsible for it.
“Israel is trying to prove something that isn't right. The real owners of the mosque are all the Muslims around the world."
When contacted by The Media Line, Israeli police claimed that "several suspects approached officers on the Temple Mount and threw a Molotov cocktail towards them.
 
"During searches conducted," the statement continued, "police found several containers with flammable materials in various locations."
 
The latest flare-up at the holy place comes after two senior officials of the Waqf Islamic trust that administers religious sites on the Haram al-Sharif recently were arrested following a week of rioting that culminated with Palestinians forcing their way into the shuttered Golden Gate area.
 
An Israeli court ordered the section—also known as the Gate of Mercy—closed in 2003, as Islamists with ties to Hamas allegedly used it as a political staging ground. The Israeli government also accused the Waqf of conducting illegal excavations there in order to destroy archaeological evidence of the Jewish people’s connection to Jerusalem.
 
For their part, the Palestinians believe the Israelis are planning to turn the area into a Jewish prayer section, which dovetails with the broader “al-Aqsa is in danger” campaign that in the past ignited mass protests.
 
All of this, meanwhile, comes on the heels of a move last month by Jordan—the custodian of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem—to expand the Waqf’s administrative council so that Palestinian officials could for the first time be included in its ranks. The decision is viewed as a bid to consolidate the PA’s claim to the eastern part of Jerusalem as the capital of a future state.
 
Mahmoud al-Habash, the Palestinian Authority’s supreme Shari’a judge and religious adviser, said Israel had no right to open or close the gates to the plaza.
 
“It is the Waqf’s responsibility, and Israel's involvement only increases tensions," he told The Media Line.
 
Habash added that the only way to stop clashes between police and Muslim worshipers was for Israel not to involve itself in the al-Aqsa Mosque at all.
 
A statement issued from Cairo’s Azhar Mosque, whose leader is considered the highest theological authority for Sunni Muslims, strongly condemned Israeli police for raiding al-Aqsa and closing it to worshipers.
 
The statement called this a violation of the area’s sanctity, something that enrages Muslims around the world, and urged the global community to pressure Israel to respect international resolutions and conventions.

For more stories, visit themedialine.org.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Asael Shabo
July 23, 2019
Terror victim to terrorists: Violence is not going to help - watch

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF

Cookie Settings