Muslims hold protest outside Old City

More than 150 activists oppose right-wing Jews' plan to pray on Temple Mount; demo ends peacefully.

Muslims Temple Mount 224.88 (photo credit: )
Muslims Temple Mount 224.88
(photo credit: )
More than 150 activists from the Islamic Movement held a demonstration outside Jerusalem's Old City on Thursday morning in protest of Jewish right-wing groups' intention to hold prayers at the Temple Mount. The Jewish groups did not arrive. The demonstrators also protested police restrictions on Muslim worshipers' entrance to the site, calling the move an attempt to "Judaize" the compound. Zahi Najidat, spokesman for the Islamic Movement's northern branch, said that the aim of the demonstration was to prevent "radical right-wing groups" from "gaining control" of the Temple Mount, Army Radio reported. "There are radical groups that called for the masses to come and Judaize this place. We have come to tell them that we are at the Aksa Mosque and they cannot change this," Najidat said. Jewish groups published posters in recent days "calling on the masses to visit the Temple Mount" on the day after Pessah "to Judaize the holiest place in the world, which is being shamefully desecrated." Earlier on Thursday, Jerusalem Police announced that it was limiting the access of both Muslims and Jews wishing to enter the site due to assessments that thousands were planning to protest the Jewish worshipers' intention to pray at the compound. Police had feared riots would break out if the Jewish and Muslim worshipers were allowed to enter the compound together, according to the radio report. However, no Jews tried to enter the compound, and the Muslim protest ended peacefully before noon.