Posts Tagged With: Temple Mount

The War of Symbols Continues: More Violence on the Temple Mount and Off

Old City Rioter, masked and with stones, October, 2009 (photo by Synne Tonidas @

On Friday, after Muslim noon prayers, more than a hundred worshippers stanged a demonstration protesting Jewish temple mount extremists’ plans to enter the Temple Mount to pray. What exactly happened next is not clear as newspaprs give conflicting accounts. At some point the protesters began throwing stones. At some point the Israeli police entered the temple mount precinct to disperse the protesters. 11 police officers were lightly injured. Between 15 and 30 protesters were lightly injured. Four protesters were arrested.

AP reports that one of the Muslim officials present at the scene says stones were only thrown after police entered, but this doesn’t explain why the police entered the Temple Mount. However, the Jerusalem Post says that the conflict began when people on the Temple Mount began throwing stones down onto the Western Wall plaza below. When the police entered the Temple Mount to stop the stone throwing, the protesters began throwing stones at the police as well.

Reports of the weapons used on each side also differ. Ynet says molotov cocktails as well as stones were thrown. AP says that the police used tear gas as well as stun grenades. Arutz Sheva says the police used stun grenades, rubber bullets, and tear gas. The police deny this saying they used stun grenades and nothing more. The Jerusalem Post mentions unspecified additional crowd control techniques. The police deny the use of any other crowd control techniques other than stun grenades.

Violence Triggers Yet More Violence and a Death

Violence on the Temple Mount triggered yet more violence elsewhere on the West Bank.  Continue reading

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Holy Sites and Violence: A War of Symbols

For the last two weeks the Temple Mount, churches, and several key graves in Israel and the West Bank have been the focus of tension, fears, and minor violence.

The Temple Mount

For the lat few weeks, the Al Aqsa Foundation for Waqf and Heritage, the Al Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade and Muslim leaders such as Ekrema Sabri, have been beating the drums, expressing fears that Jews will desecrate or take over the Temple Mount.

Muslim fears aren’t coming out of thin air. Two weeks ago around the time of Moshe Feiglin’s usual monthly attempt to enter the temple mount, unknown parties distributed flyers in the Old City calling on people “to purify the temple mount from the enemies of Israel”. Feiglin denied any involvement in the pamphlets, but the timing of the pamphlets aggravated an already tense situation. Then Monday night this week, a home with right wing extremist documents discussing the Temple Mount were discovered in a home in the Ramot neighborhood of Jerusalem.

The police have worked with officials on the Temple Mount to prevent riots and personal injury, but their actions have been criticized on both the Arab and the Jewish side. On Sunday, Feb 12, the temple mount was closed to Jews. This sparked outrage by certain religious Jews and prompted the Zionist Organization of Amrica (ZOA) to send a letter to the Israeli government on Monday, Feb 13. Continue reading

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