Temple Mount briefly closed, nine arrested

Confrontations between Muslim and Jewish worshipers cause police to close the holy site for visitors 10 minutes early.

Orthodox Jews look out Temple Mount (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Orthodox Jews look out Temple Mount
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Just two days after police arrested five people on the Temple Mount, confrontations again broke out between Muslim and Jewish worshipers, forcing police to briefly close the site to visitors on Thursday.
Police arrested nine people in two separate incidents. In the morning, police arrested five Arabs for attempted assault against a police officer and one Jew who refused to obey police orders.
According to Jerusalem deputy police spokeswoman Shlomit Bajshi, a group of around 30 Muslim worshipers began chanting "Allalu Akbar" and began heading towards a group of Muslim worshipers with the intention of attacking them. Police immediately responded to the incident and separated the two groups, provoking a small fracas.
However, the Temple Mount was not closed to visitors at that time. When the Temple Mount opened for afternoon visiting hours at 12:30, police received word of possible confrontations and violence or stone throwing against Jewish worshipers. While conducting an intensive search of the Temple Mount, some Muslims began throwing stones at the police, though there were no injuries and no damage.
At the same time, police closed the area to visitors approximately ten minutes before the scheduled closing time at 1:30.
Three Jews who attempted to force their way onto the Temple Mount during the temporary closure were also arrested.
Five people, including Likud activist Moshe Feiglin, were arrested after a confrontation on the Temple Mount on Tuesday morning during Feiglin’s monthly trip to Judaism’s holiest site.
In Tuesday's incident, a group of Arabs began chanting "Allalu Akbar" and police immediately separated the groups of Jews and Arabs. Upon searching one of the Arabs, police discovered that he was carrying a concealed knife, which is illegal on the Temple Mount. Police arrested three Arabs for disturbing the peace, and one of them for also carrying an illegal weapon.
Security forces also arrested Feiglin and another Jew for praying, which is “in violation of the customs of the site,” according to Bajshi.
All of the suspects from Tuesday's confrontation were served with restraining orders prohibiting them from visiting the Temple Mount for 15 days. Feiglin refused to sign and was brought before the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court, where he was released without condition.