Temple Mount closed over ‘security concerns’

J'lem police closes site to Jewish, non-Muslim visits, citing concerns they would provoke riots by Muslim worshipers.

May 17, 2013 01:45
Israeli police in front of Al Aqsa mosque [file].

Israeli police in front of Al Aqsa mosque 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Ammar Awad)

The Jerusalem District Police closed the Temple Mount to Jewish and other non-Muslim visitors on Thursday morning.

The Joint Association of Temple Organizations had organized a 9 a.m. visit to the site for approximately 100 children. However, police decided to close the site to non-Muslim visitors, citing a concern that the visit would provoke riots by Muslim worshipers.

Every day except Friday, the Temple Mount is open to non-Muslims for a limited amount of time in the mornings and afternoons, although prayer is strictly prohibited for anyone other than Muslims.

Noam Federman, a right-wing political and religious activist who helped organize the visit, condemned the closure of the site.

“Once again, the police are working hand in hand with Arab rioters and are giving legitimacy to the sovereignty of the Wakf,” said Federman, referring to the Islamic religious trust that administers the Temple Mount complex.

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