Prayers at the Temple Mount
Photo: AFP

Police warn of riots at Temple Mount

Islamic Movement calls on worshippers to swarm holy site after Jewish organizations call for its 'Judaization.' Security forces to limit entry

Hundreds of police officers will deploy throughout the Old City in Jerusalem on Thursday due to concerns of planned riots at the Temple Mount during Muslim prayers.


Police will limit the entry of worshippers to the compound.


In recent days various Jewish organizations, including Habad, have issued calls to come to the Temple Mount to "conquer and Judaize the holiest place on earth, which is being desecrated in such a disgraceful and shameful way."


Organized transportation to the Mount was advertized in several towns.


In response, members of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel called on the Muslim community to come to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in droves. The movement's deputy chief, Kamal Khatib, told Ynet: "The Al-Aqsa Mosque is in our veins, we will not abandon it and we will not allow anyone to do anything to it."


'All up to the police'

Khatib vowed that if the police block the entry of the Jewish groups in question, the day's prayers would be held without incident.


"It's all up to the police. If they allow them to enter, they (the police) would be taking a stand, and that is unacceptable from law enforcement officers. If they are not allowed in, there will be no provocation and our prayers will be held in peace."


The Islamic Movement issued a call in mosques and through Arab media this week, calling on Muslims to

converge at the Mount: "Those who called for the purification and Judaization of the place should know that we will not abandon it."


A similar call was issued to the Palestinian public, with the issue championed by the mufti of Jerusalem.

The police for its part intended to limit entry to the compound. Only men over the age of 50 with blue ID cards (Israeli citizens) will be allowed into the Temple Mount. The age of Muslim women will not be limited.


Sharon Roffe-Ofir contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 04.16.09, 00:04
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