Police stormed the Temple Mount on Wednesday morning, following stone throwing at visitors and police officers by masked men on the scene. Security forces under District Commander Yossi Pariente dispersed the stone throwers.
Police said they did not to use riot control measures and that there were no reported injuries. The stone throwers fled into mosques and security forces remain in the courtyard.
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At the same time, on the road to Jerusalem, police stopped dozens of buses carrying Arab worshipers who were on their way to the Temple Mount. Police turned them around, believing their intention was to cause disturbances at the location.
On Tuesday, Jerusalem District Police completed operational preparations for Rosh Hashana. Thousands of police, Border Guard officers and volunteers have been deployed in the Old City and east Jerusalem to maintain public order and the security of visitors and worshipers. Police will also secure tourist and prayer sites, as well as synagogues and shopping malls in the city.
In recent weeks, tension has risen following calls from radical Arab elements to "to protect the Temple Mount from Jewish visitors" and not allow them to go up the mountain. On Tuesday, Jerusalem district police arrested the head of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, Sheikh Raed Salah, on suspicion of incitement in a speech last week in Kfar Kara in Wadi Ara.
It is suspected that Salah accused Israel of responsibility for the fire at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and said that "the Israeli occupation" is working to burn the Arab world and Egypt. Following the hearing held yesterday in Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court, Salah was banned from entering the city for 180 days.
He was ordered to maintain a distance of 30 km from the capital, and to leave a deposit of NIS 50,000. Salah refused the conditions and will be brought before the court Wednesday for a continuance of the hearing.
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