Police patrol near the Temple Mount 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
With the opening of the Temple Mount to visitors on Tuesday morning, dozens of Arab rioters began throwing rocks at police forces at the Mugrabi Gate which leads from the mount to the Western Wall Plaza.
Using riot dispersal methods, the police pushed back the rioters to the direction of al-Aksa Mosque in order to prevent injury to the Jews who had come to the Western Wall to pray for the the Tisha Be'av annual fast day, Police Spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said.
During the clash, security forces entered the Temple Mount plaza and the rioters ran into al-Aksa Mosque.
Two firebombs were thrown from inside the mosque at the security forces, police said.
Police observed one of the rioters holding a firebomb at the entrance to the mosque and used riot dispersal means against him. As a result the firebomb fell from his hands and was then extinguished by the rioters, police said.
Following rioting on the Temple Mount and two terrorist attacks on Monday, thousands of police officers blanketed the capital on Tuesday.
“Police have heightened security throughout Jerusalem before and after the two terrorist attacks,” Rosenfeld said on Monday.
“We are not taking any chances whatsoever to ensure safety as thousands go to the Wall to observe Tisha Be’av.”
Rosenfeld said many police units will be stationed throughout the capital, with an emphasis on the Old City.
“We have completed security measures, which have already been implemented,” he said.
Rosenfeld said border police, undercover teams and other elite units will cover the area to respond to any incidents immediately, with special precaution being taken at the Western Wall and synagogues.
At least five police officers were lightly wounded on Monday morning on the Temple Mount when hundreds of masked Muslims rioted and erected obstacles in an attempt to block reinforcements from dispersing them.