Quiet prevails as hundreds visit the Temple Mount

A group of religious Jews escorted by Israeli police get a tour of the Al Aqsa Compound, known to Muslims as the Haram al Sharif, and to Jews as the Temple Mount, in Jerusalem's Old City, on July 18, 2017. (Photo: Hadas Parush/Flash90)

JERUSALEM, Israel – Israel Police temporarily closed the Temple Mount on Wednesday after several Jewish visitors did not comply with standard procedures there.

Though the Temple Mount is Judaism’s holiest site, neither Jews nor Christians are permitted to pray there, a privilege reserved for Muslims only. Police closed the site briefly, reopening it 15 minutes later.

Several Israeli media agencies claimed Jews had been barred from the Temple Mount, but Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told CBN News it was open to visitors all morning outside of the brief interlude.

“Security measures continue today in Jerusalem’s Old City and around the Temple Mount area,” Rosenfeld said in a statement. “Around the Lion’s Gate, police cleared [the] area after disturbances took place. No injuries [were] reported and [the] area [is] quiet.

It all took place on the day the Palestinian Authority’s Fatah faction called for a “Day of Rage.” Instead, hundreds of visitors, tourists and Muslims cooperated with the new security arrangements to enter the Temple Mount.

Meanwhile, the Wakf, the Jordanian-based Islamic Trust that administers the site, called for all mosques to be closed for Friday prayers so every available person could storm the Temple Mount.

The latest round of incitement began last Friday when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu closed the site after a terror attack killed two police officers and injured a third. The three Israeli Arabs from the northern town of Umm al-Fahm who carried out the attack all held identity cards, allowing them the same freedom of movement as anyone else. They were killed in a shootout with police on the Temple Mount.

The temporary closure to investigate the incident and the decision to install metal detectors (magnetometers) and security cameras near the Lion’s Gate provided fertile ground to incite against Israel.

The Wakf ordered Muslims not to comply with the new measures, warning yet again that the al-Aksa Mosque is endangered. That well-worn ploy has been used repeatedly by the Palestinian Liberation Organization, Fatah, and Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip and the Islamic Movement in Israel.

Incitement by the P.A. and other Islamic groups are nothing new. Each summer, Hamas holds terror training camps for kids of all ages, while the P.A. encourages its youth to carry out rock and firebomb attacks, stabbings, drive-by shootings and vehicle ramming against Israelis, both security forces and civilians. Since Friday, attacks against Israeli security forces have ramped up at the Lion’s Gate and in predominantly Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem.

“In the Old City, evening Muslim prayers took place, many local residents prayed in areas outside the Temple Mount,” Israel Police reported Tuesday evening. “Police dispersed some of the local residents after stones and bottles [were] thrown at them. Areas [are] quiet and security measures continue. Police will respond to incidents if necessary.”

This article originally appeared on CBN News, July 19, 2017, and reposted with permission.