Published On: Wed, Jul 19th, 2017

Temple Mount Crisis: Fear of violence on Friday; Mosques will be closed

A clash broke out in the area of the Lions' Gate after a worshiper attacked police and others threw stones at them. The Waqf decided Friday prayers would only take place around the Temple Mount compound,


A clash broke out Wednesday afternoon near the Lions’ Gate, between police officers and some of the worshipers who arrived at the Temple Mount to hold the afternoon prayers. One of the worshipers tried to attack policemen, and in the ensuing chaos, others threw stones at the security forces. At the same time, the severe crisis on the Temple Mount continues to grow, and there is increasing concern over Friday’s riots. The Waqf announced that all mosques in Jerusalem would be closed this Friday to encourage worshipers to reach Al-Aqsa, a move that could lead to further clashes in the area.

The police said that “a short while ago a Muslim arrived at the entrance to the Lions’ Gate and asked to distribute leaflets while shouting at the people in the area. During his arrest, others began to disturb public order and throw stones at the forces. ” The security forces dispersed the worshipers, and according to the police, the area is quiet.

Hamas is also preparing for an escalation and is calling on the Palestinians to embark on a procession of fury on Friday after the noon prayers in Judea and Samaria, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. This morning, the police decided to close the site to Jewish visitors, following another violation of the rules of the visit by a group of Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount. The commander of the Jerusalem district, Major General Yoram Halevy, also ordered the group that visited it to remove from the compound.


At the same time, the international effort to resolve the Temple Mount crisis continues, and in the context of clashes between Israeli security forces and Muslim worshipers, an American official told the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper that the US administration calls on all sides to maintain restraint and reduce tensions. According to the same source, the United States welcomes the commitment of all parties to abide by the understandings related to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and it urges continued efforts to ensure security in the mountainous area.

Egypt, for its part, issued a statement this morning demanding that Israel stops violence and respect freedom of worship and holy sites, as well as the right of the Palestinian people to carry out their religious ceremonies freely and safely.

In a statement, Egypt called on Israel not to take further steps that could inflame the conflict, stir up religious feelings and increase tension among the Palestinian people in a way that would undermine the chances of achieving a just and comprehensive peace based on the two-state solution.

Egypt warned of the dangerous consequences of the Israeli escalation in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which has already led to injuries among Palestinians and has put the life of the preacher in the mosque, Sheikh Akrama Sabri, at risk.

Following the series of confrontations against the backdrop of metal detectors at the entrance to the Temple Mount, the Fatah movement announced that today would be a “day of rage” in East Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria. Also, Tanzim Fatah decided that Friday prayers would be held in squares in the main Palestinian cities and sermons would be dedicated to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and against Israel’s steps.


As stated, as a further protest step, which will motivate more worshipers to the gates of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Waqf decided that all the mosques in Jerusalem would be closed on Friday and that the afternoon prayers would be held only around the Temple Mount compound. This decision could lead to further confrontations in the compound. In recent days, tension has intensified over the installation of metal detectors at the Lions’ Gate and the Majlis Gate following the attack on Friday on the Temple Mount, in which two policemen were murdered. The heads of the Waqf have already announced that they oppose the placement of the magnetometers. “This is a flagrant violation of the status quo. Jordan should say that it cancels all agreements with the Israeli government,” said Fakhri Abu Diab, a key activist in the village of Silwan in East Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday amid the conflict over the new security measures: “I understand there is friction in the matter of magnetometers, but we understand that we can find ourselves in another terrorist attack, and these means are requested as well as the cameras we intend to place on the masts outside To the mountain. ”
In the clashes, last night outside the Temple Mount, stones and Molotov cocktails were thrown at policemen, and two of them were lightly injured. According to the police, “Two policemen were lightly injured and treated at the site, while stones were thrown at a Border Police force at Ras al-Amud. The force conducts searches in place of locating suspects. ”

The plenum approved a preliminary reading of the Jerusalem Law submitted by House of Jewish House Speaker MK Shuli Mualem Refaeli and promoted by Minister Naftali Bennett. According to the offer.

In any future agreement that the government will ask to raise the issue of Jerusalem, a majority of 80 MKs will be required. “In light of experience,” says Mualem, “and in light of the coalition structure today, we have a duty to protect Jerusalem from possible future moves.” Even if there is no threat to the integrity of Jerusalem in the foreseeable future, experience shows that there are surprises.

By Roi Case, Elior Levy and Hassan Shaalan, Ynet News

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