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After Months of Quiet, Scuffles Erupt After Jews Ascend Temple Mount

For second day in a row, masked Muslim worshipers throw stones at police and Jewish visitors to flashpoint site.

Violent clashes erupted on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem on Monday, following a day of violence that marked for first time violence erupted at the flashpoint site in several months, with only 10 days left until the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
In recent years the police prevented Jews from ascending the Temple Mount during the final days of Ramadan, but the police and Public Security Ministry decided to allow them to enter the compound as usual, on Sunday and on Monday.
Masked Muslim worshipers threw stones and verbally lambasted officers securing the Jewish visit on Monday. A number of Palestinians were wounded after police fired rubber bullets.
A police source said the decision was based on a situational assessment.
Immediately after the area was opened Sunday, however, Palestinian men, some masked, began to throw stones at the visitors and the policemen who were guarding them. One policeman was lightly injured and treated at the scene.
Most of the confrontations took place outside Al-Aqsa Mosque, where the protesters entrenched themselves. Rumors that police had actually entered the mosque circulated on Palestinian social networks and in the Arabic media. But despite the scuffles, police continued to enable non-Muslims to visit the compound; in the end only 18 Jews did so, along with 375 tourists.
The police decision to allow the Temple Mount visits also reflected the fact that Passover and Jerusalem Day, holidays which in past years had been marked by violent incidents involving Palestinians, passed relatively quietly this year as well.
Ramadan has been relatively quiet in Jerusalem this year. The Friday prayers have passed without any exceptional incidents and calm has prevailed in the city's Palestinian neighborhoods.

Nir Hasson
Haaretz Correspondent
read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.727329
Schermata 2016 06 28 alle 15.12.37

Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police

The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

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