Temple Mount Crisis: After returning to pray at the Temple Mount following two weeks of riots and violence, Muslim worshippers once again clashed with IDF security forces at the site on Thursday evening. “If things don’t calm down, it could end in severe disaster,” said protestors at the Temple Mount, as tensions continue to rise.
During the riots that broke out inside the compound, many young people throw stones and bottles at the forces, who responded by means of dispersing disturbances, including stun grenades.
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The riots that broke out inside the Temple Mount compound included many young people throwing stones and bottles at the IDF forces, who responded by means of dispersing disturbances, including the use of stun grenades. According to the Red Crescent, at least 113 people have been injured so far. “The situation is very serious, it’s war,” some of the worshippers said, accusing the police of “dragging us into a war without cessation.” Omar Qaswani, head of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, reiterated these sentiments, saying that “the Israeli security forces are oppressing the worshippers in order to appease the Israeli extreme right.”
In the afternoon, crowds clashed with police forces inside the compound of the Temple Mount, after tens of thousands of people arrived to pray. Confrontations were also reported in the nearby Bab Huta neighborhood. The confrontations included young people climbed to the roof of the al-Aqsa Mosque and waved Palestinian flags. Hundreds gathered in the afternoon near the Lions’ Gate, outside the Temple Mount, and celebrated the removal of the security measures and the renewed entrance to the holy compound. Many distributed sweets and bottles of drink while shouting cheers.
The police dismantled the cameras and fences at the entrances to the Temple Mount where the metal detectors stood, which were also dismantled earlier this week. The security camera stations were also dismantled after the cameras were removed on Tuesday following the Security Cabinet’s decision.
As a result, the Mufti of Jerusalem, Muhammad Hussein, announced that Muslims could once again pray at the Temple Mount, and the Jordanian Waqf called on the masses to arrive at 16:00. “The situation has returned to what it was,” said the Mufti. “We return to pray in Al-Aqsa.”
By Elior Levy and Yael Friedson, Ynet News