After security forces clashed on Sunday with Muslim rioters on the Temple Mount and elsewhere in east Jerusalem, police blamed Hamas and the Islamic Movement for once again inciting Israel's Arab population to violence in the capital.
"Throughout the day, very large groups of Arab residents of east Jerusalem and other Israeli Arabs have come to the area at the encouragement of the Islamic Movement," Police Chief Commissioner Insp.-Gen. David Cohen told reporters. "I urge them (the Islamic Movement) to show restraint and not to incite."
Cohen went on to say that police would deal with all rioters on the Temple Mount as well as the inciters "with a strong hand."
Police also released a separate statement blaming Hamas for inciting violence in a bid to "disrupt order on the Temple Mount."
Meanwhile, Hamas condemned Israel for "infiltrating the Aksa Mosque" and "defiling" it.
The group also called on Palestinians to rise up against Israel, for Arabs and Muslims worldwide to punish Israel. "The real battle begins again," declared spokesman Fawzi Barhoum.
In the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority condemned the Israeli operation. "Jerusalem is a red line that Israel should not cross," said Nabil Abu Rdeneh, spokesman for PA President Mahmoud Abbas.
Israeli Arab MKs blamed Israel for the escalation in tensions, as they had done during previous clashes. MK Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List-Tal) said that Israel had "broken the law," complaining that he had waited 50 minutes in order to ascend the Temple Mount.
UAL-Ta'al MK Taleb a-Sanaa said that Israel was provoking "a billion Muslims" and sparking unnecessary riots by allowing "extremist elements to defile the mosque."
National Union MK Michael Ben-Ari, stated that security forces may be taking the wrong track. Israel was "forfeiting" the Temple Mount, he said, suggesting that a "Muslim autonomy" was being created in the capital.
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