Jerusalem’s Temple Mount calmer after days of clashes

The statements, while mainly referring to street protests and rioting, followed three days of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police at Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound.


Police had entered the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in previous days to disperse protesters who had holed up inside after hurling rocks, concrete blocks and firebombs at officers.

“We will fight through all means necessary against rock throwers, firebomb and pipe bomb throwers, and those who shoot fireworks to harm citizens and police officers,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after holding an emergency security meeting following a spate of attacks in Jerusalem during Jewish New Years (Rosh Hashana) celebrations.

The White House said on Tuesday it was deeply concerned about the clashes at Temple Mount, and “strongly condemns all acts of violence at the sacred site”.

The Cabinet highlighted Jordan’s stance, under the leadership of King Abdullah, and stressed also His Majesty’s intensive efforts to protect Jerusalem and its Islamic and Christian holy sites facing Israeli assaults.

Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld said that under the current rules of engagement, police use stun grenades and tear gas against stone throwers.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said security forces shut the door on protesters inside the mosque in a tactic previously used to restore calm.

On Tuesday night, Israeli police and border guards battled Palestinian youth throwing Molotov cocktails in several east Jerusalem neighborhoods.

Netanyahu quelled fears that Israel would attempt to change the rules surrounding the site, where Muslims are permitted to pray but Jews are not allowed.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said 26 people were wounded, with two hospitalised.

This comes after on Sunday, a 64 year-old Israeli died after losing control of his vehicle which was pelted with rocks, near the east Jerusalem Palestinian village of Zur Baher.

During the emergency assembly in a single day Tuesday, additionally attended by Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, Netanyahu insisted that the established order on the mosque must be maintained.

“The plan that the Israeli government is trying to implement, is a terrible and criminal plan that aims to enforce the temporal and spatial division of al-Aqsa Mosque”. The status quo prevents Jews from praying on the Temple Mount.

“Tourists that have been walking around the Temple Mount, Jewish individuals that are walking around on the Temple Mount, that are causing no threat whatsoever, they’ve been attacked, stones have been thrown at them”, he said.

Israel captured the site when it seized East Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank from Jordan in a 1967 war.


Clashes began after Israel severely restricted entry into the compound in late August and then full banned members of Jewish and Muslim groups considered to be extremist.

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