Tensions between Israeli police and Palestinian rioters have reached a boiling point, as two sides battle over access to the Temple Mount.
Times of Israel reported:
Rioting broke out in the Wadi Joz area north of Jerusalem’s Old City between Muslim worshipers attempting to reach the Temple Mount for Friday prayers and Israeli police.
At least one police officer and eight Palestinians were lightly hurt, according to reports. There were no immediate reports of serious injuries.
The worshipers are protesting new security procedures at the holy site imposed by the Israel Police after last Friday’s deadly terror attack there that left two police officers dead. Muslim leaders have instructed those wishing to pray not to agree to pass through the metal detector gates posted at the Temple Mount. Only a few Palestinians agreed to security checks and entered the site on Friday, with thousands more praying or protesting at various sites around the city.
At Wadi Joz, rioters threw rocks and water bottles at police, and some set off fireworks. Police responded with tear gas, pushing back the crowd.
Many cars parked along the road were damaged. Rioters set a dumpster on fire, but the fire was soon put out by residents.
Local residents were also seen intervening in the clash and demanding that the protesters stop throwing rocks.
Palestinian terror organization Hamas has called on its followers to lead a “day of rage” against Israel.
Toronto Sun writes:
The Palestinian militant group Hamas has called for mass protests on Friday against Israeli metal detectors placed at a contested Jerusalem holy site.
In a televised speech Thursday, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh urged Palestinians to participate in a “day of rage” against the stepped up security measures, which were imposed after Palestinian gunmen killed two Israeli police at the site last week.
Israel initially closed the site, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount. The compound, which houses the Al-Aqsa mosque, was reopened Sunday with metal detectors installed, a step Palestinians protest as a change to the longstanding status quo.
Haniyeh says “al-Aqsa mosque and Jerusalem are a red line,” and that “the closure and punitive measures on Jerusalemites and sanctuaries will not be allowed.”
A press release by Haniyeh following the terror attack included a “salute” to the “martyrs of Al Aqsa Mosque” and accuses ‘the Zionists’ of preventing Muslims from practicing their faith as well as a call to resist ‘schemes’ to control the area