Friday, February 24, 2012

Riots on the Temple Mount today

Today, after Friday prayers, there were clashes on the Temple Mount between Muslims and the Israeli police - this is after a couple of weeks of clashes, which were first provoked when posters calling for Jews to go up to the Mount and take it over were posted.

The poster, below, claims to be connected to Moshe Feiglin, a right-wing leader of the Likud Party, although Feiglin has denied that he had the poster made. It appeared on a website called "Our Temple Mount" (הר הבית שלנו), and is available at

This is a translation of the poster:

The Likud

Members of the Central Committee

together with thousands of supporters

under the leadership of R. Moshe Feiglin

Chairman of “Likud Leadership”

are invited to ascend to the Temple Mount to praise and thank the creator of the world, to announce that leadership is alive, and its complete control over the Temple Mount is at its beginning.

Purification of the place from the enemies of Israel, stealers of the land, and building of the Temple on the ruins of the mosques.
Not to fear at all!

We meet on Sunday, 19 Shevat, on the steps of the Rambam Gate, at 8 a.m.

Ynet appears to have the fullest report on what happened this afternoon:
Officers hurt in Temple Mount riots; 4 arrested
Hundreds of Muslim worshippers hurl stones at police, Border Guard forces who in turn raid compound. Eleven officers lightly injured

Yair Altman 02.24.12, 15:29 / Israel News, Ynet

Friday prayers at Jerusalem's Temple Mount turned into a scene of violent riots as protesters hurled stones at security forces who in turn broke into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound. Police dispersed the protesters using shock grenades. Eleven officers were lightly wounded by stones and treated at the scene. Four rioters were arrested. Left-wing activists said that about 15 Palestinians were lightly hurt by the crowd-control measures used by security forces.

Hundreds of Muslim worshippers at the Mughrabi Gate hurled stones at police and Border Guard forces who raided the compound to evacuate them. Dozens initially refused to leave the mosque but later cleared out on their own accord. Police say further arrests are expected.

Following the Temple Mounts riot, similar unrest was recorded in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, Isawiya and Ras al-Amoud, as well as near the Qalandiya checkpoint. Security forces in each of the locations suffered stoning and the hurling of Molotov cocktails. The forces responded using crowd-control measures.

The riots have caused a stir in the Arab world. Al-Jazeera carried a live broadcast from the Temple Mount. Sheikh Muhammad Hussein Hussein of the al-Aqsa mosque said: "We demand that no settlers, radicals or soldiers enter the mosque to avoid friction." He claimed that the Israeli government is responsible for the situation and will "bear the consequences."

Officers dispersing rioters (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)

Meanwhile, some 400 Palestinians and Israelis took part in a Hebron rally marking the 18th anniversary for the Cave of Patriarchs massacre. Some of the protesters waved Syrian flags in support of the Syrian people. The 1994 shooting saw a lone gunman, far-right Kach movement member Baruch Goldstein, open fire on Muslims praying inside the Ibrahim Mosque. Twenty-nine worshippers were killed and 125 were wounded.

Jerusalem District chief Nisso Shaham told reporters that the riots broke out after a right-wing activist posted online ads calling to "cleanse the Arabs from the al-Aqsa Mosque." He said Friday's events were the climax of riots in the past two weeks.
Wounded officer cleared from area (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)
Shaham was referring to an ad announcing a future Temple Mount visit by Moshe Feiglin and his supports. Fearing riots police closed the area to Jewish visitors.

On Thursday, Jerusalem Police declared a heightened state of alert at the Old City due to mounting tensions over calls by right-wing elements and members of the Temple Mount Faithful group to visit the site.

"This time it was decided not to restrict entry to the Temple Mount so as not to harm the freedom of religion," Shaham said.

Several cases of stone throwing were recorded in the Old City in the past week. The first incident saw police arrest 18 protesters suspected of rioting after hurling chairs at security forces. Several days later, an officer was injured when Arabs hurled stones at him. Police arrested three suspects.

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