shmuel rabinovitz 248 88 ap.
(photo credit: AP [file])
Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitz on Tuesday called on religious leaders in Jerusalem's Old City to work towards restoring the calm shattered by clashes between police and Arab rioters in recent days.
"I call on religious leaders in the Old City to find a way to bring sanity back to the holy city, so that everyone can come to the holy sites without encountering fear and hostility," the rabbi said in a special message released late Tuesday afternoon.
Speaking after a relatively quiet day in the capital, Rabinovitz said that forces outside of Jerusalem were operating to stir up religious tensions in the Old City.
"Ludicrous claims about excavations under the Temple Mount are an absolute lie," he said in the message. "To claim that the Jews are digging [under] the Temple Mount site is like claiming that day is night."
He urged religious leaders in the Old City to "work towards peace and quiet, with the aim of enabling regular prayers at the holy sites."
Also Tuesday afternoon, despite heavy police forces on patrol, dozens of Arab youths threw rocks at police officers in east Jerusalem. The youths also lit pieces of wood on fire in an attempt to block the road.
By Tuesday evening, police had dispersed the rioters, and traffic was moving smoothly in the area.