Friday, February 24, 2012

Riots At The Temple Mount

Friday prayers at Jerusalem's Temple Mount turned into a scene of violent riots as protesters hurled stones at security forces who in turn broke into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound. Police dispersed the protesters using stun grenades. Eleven officers were lightly wounded by stones and treated at the scene. Ten rioters were arrested.

Hundreds of Muslim worshippers at the Mughrabi Gate hurled stones at police and Border Guard forces who raided the compound to evacuate them. Dozens initially refused to leave the mosque but later cleared out on their own accord. Police say further arrests are expected.

Sheikh Muhammad Hussein Hussein of the al-Aqsa mosque said: "We demand that no settlers, radicals or soldiers enter the mosque to avoid friction." He claimed that the Israeli government was responsible for the situation and will "bear the consequences."

On Thursday, Jerusalem Police declared a heightened state of alert at the Old City due to mounting tensions over calls by right-wing elements and members of the Temple Mount Faithful group to visit the site.

Several cases of stone throwing were recorded in the Old City in the past week. The first incident saw police arrest 18 protesters suspected of rioting after hurling chairs at security forces. Several days later, an officer was injured when Arabs hurled stones at him. Police arrested three suspects.

Things are continuing to heat up in the areas surrounding Israel (Syria, Egypt, Hezbollah, Hamas, etc.) and now within Israel, particularly in Jerusalem and now around the Temple Mount. We are also seeing an escalation in Gaza as the missiles continue to be launched into southern Israel and the IDF takes retaliatory measures.

What will be next?

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