arabs riot temple mount 311.
(photo credit: AP)
Abdullah on Sunday night condemned Israel’s “provocative measures in
Jerusalem,” after a day on which security forces stormed the Temple
Mount to quell Arab rioting.
Abdullah made the remark after meeting Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Amman.
Abdullah called on the international community to take immediate steps to "protect Jerusalem’s holy sites."
also criticized Israel’s decision to include Hebron’s Cave of the
Patriarchs and Bethlehem’s Rachel’s Tomb on its national heritage list.
Jerusalem’s Old City had erupted in violence on Sunday
morning when clashes between Arab rioters and security forces broke out
on the Temple Mount and spread into the alleyways of the Muslim Quarter
and the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras el-Amud.
policemen were injured and upwards of a dozen Muslim protesters were
reportedly hurt during the clashes, which were reminiscent of similar
rioting that erupted in the area during Succot in October.
to police, the violence began when some 30 Arab youths who had holed
themselves up inside Al-Aksa Mosque Saturday night began throwing rocks
at a group of visitors to the Temple Mount Sunday morning.
Waqf officials had attempted to convince the youths to leave the
compound Saturday night, their efforts proved futile and police,
acknowledging the prospect of an outbreak of violence, banned men under
the age of 50 from entering the site on Sunday.
The youths, who
were thought to be protesting a government decision to include a number
of religious landmarks – including Rachel’s Tomb near Bethlehem and the
Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron – on a list of national “heritage
sites,” fled back into the mosque after security forces stormed the
Temple Mount compound, but some continued throwing rocks at police
deployed in the nearby plaza.
Palestinian sources also reported
that the youths had flocked to Al-Aksa over the weekend at the behest
of Islamic leaders, who had told their followers to be prepared for a
planned “Jewish takeover” of the site during Purim.
clashes, two policemen and two border police officers were lightly hurt
by stones, and were treated at the scene. According to Palestinian
sources, 12 people were injured from inhaling tear gas that was fired
The violence also spread into the alleyways of the
Muslim Quarter, where Arab youths hurled rocks at security forces near
the Antonia Gate and Lion’s Gate.
While security forces
dispersed the youths, rocks and other debris could still be seen
scattered about on the cobblestones later in the afternoon, and a
handful of young men, some of whom were carrying rock-slings, remained
congregated in the alleyways.
Additionally, some 10 Arab youths
in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras el-Amud hurled rocks at
security forces, although police reported no injuries there and quickly
brought the situation under control.
By late Sunday afternoon,
police announced that all of the youths had left Al-Aksa mosque without
further incident, and reported calm throughout the Old City and east
Jerusalem. Nonetheless, three of the nine entrances to the Temple Mount
remained closed and the age restriction on worshipers had not been
Police said that a total of seven people had been arrested on suspicion of hurling rocks.
to a police source, had it not been for the heavy rains that soaked
Jerusalem all day Sunday, the rioting would have likely been worse.
“One rule of thumb is that when it’s raining, Jewish or Arab, it doesn’t matter, people stay inside,” the source said.
Inside the Muslim Quarter on Sunday, shopkeepers said that they doubted
the current unrest would materialize into anything more serious.
“What will happen?” shopkeeper Anwar asked. “Nothing.” “Things are very
different now from 10 years ago,” he continued, referring to the second
intifada, which Palestinian’s labeled the “Al Aksa intifada” – tying
the uprising to a perceived threat against the holy site.
“Arafat is dead, Hamas and Fatah have split and the Palestinian
Authority has made numerous deals with the Americans so that a
large-scale uprising won’t take place. But if the Israelis want things
to calm down here, they should simply stay away from Al-Aksa,”Anwar
“The only reason we’re having these problems today is because the Israelis tried to go there.”