Police allows Jews to enter Temple Mount on Jerusalem Day, sparking riots
Palestinian worshippers hurl stones and chairs as non-Muslims are allowed to enter the compound on the last days of Ramadan for the first time in 30 years; Hamas, Islamic Jihad warn of ‘consequences’ after Israeli security forces enter the holy site to restrain the rioters
The rioters apparently began hurling stones and chairs in protest over the police's decision to allow non-Muslims to enter the holy site in the last days of Ramadan for the first time in 30 years, to mark the unification of the capital in the Six Day War.
Following the eruption of the violence at the site, Jerusalem District Commander Maj. Gen. Doron Yadid ordered police officers to be deployed to the compound in order to deal with the disturbances, prompting the forces to use crowd dispersal measures.
The police pushed the Palestinian rioters towards the Al-Aqsa Mosque, where they barricaded themselves, while continuing to hurl chairs and other objects in the direction of the security forces. Several protesters were arrested, one of which was a foreign national.
Jordan slammed Israel's decision to allow Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount, warning it could lead to a fresh round of violence. "We strongly condemn the continuation of the Israeli violations at the Al-Aqsa (Mosque) by extremists who have the backing of the security forces," said the Jordanian Foreign Ministry in a statement.
The statement also warned of "the dangerous consequences of the provocative Israeli policy, which could lead to a new escalation of violence that would threaten the entire region."
The ministry said it has sent a formal protest to the Israeli government and stressed the need "for Israel - as an occupying power - to honor its obligations under international law, cease its provocative conduct on the Temple Mount and respect the feelings of the Muslim people on the holy site."
Hamas spokesman, Sami Abu Zuhri, said there “will be consequences” to what he labeled was an “attack of the Temple Mount's worshippers by Israeli forces ... This constitutes an escalation and a violation of the compound's sanctity," the spokesman said.
The terror group then released an official statement, making further threats."The occupation’s brutal treatment of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the arrival of hundreds of extremists there during the month of Ramadan contradicts the Muslim spirit of the place, and attests to the attempts made by the Jews to Judaize the Temple Mount."
The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group also issued a statement, warning that Israel “will pay a price” for allowing “the settlers” to harm the compound. “Israel is responsible for the current situation in Jerusalem,” the statement said. “The Palestinian nation has the right to defend itself and its holy places against the Israeli aggression.”
The police said it will keep its widespread presence at the Temple Mount and in the capital in general in order to maintain the order and allow the visits of those wishing to celebrate Jerusalem Day in the holy site and throughout the entire city.