Palestinians on the Temple Mount hurled rocks and firecrackers at Israeli police Sunday morning, as Muslims closed out the four-day Eid al-Adha holiday and Jews prepared to begin the week-long festival of Sukkot.
There were no reports of injuries at the flashpoint site. Police used riot dispersal means to break up the riot by dozens of masked Palestinians, according to Army Radio.
The police said they had the rioting under control shortly after.
“Masked youths threw stones and shot firecrackers at police and Border Police securing the site,” police said in a statement.
Police were on alert Sunday morning amid reports that extremists had barricaded themselves in the compound overnight, in anticipation of possible clashes.
Sunday marked the last day of Eid al-Adha, or Feast of the Sacrifice, and the eve of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, or Feast of Tabernacles, when some religious Jews traditionally ascend to the site, considered the holiest in Judaism..
The compound, the third holiest in Islam and home to the al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock, has seen several altercations between Israeli police and Palestinians in recent weeks, sparking widespread unrest in and around the capital.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon instructed police to allow Israeli Muslim worshipers unfettered access to the mount on Sunday, while West Bank Palestinian men under 35 remained banned from the site.
Access for Jewish visitors was forbidden in order to head off any conflict.
Nevertheless, Jewish activists were planning to hold a prayer session outside one of the entrances to the Mount, and later attempt to break through and enter the compound, the Ynet news site reported.
The report said a group of several dozen men from the Muslim Murabitun group were spending the night upon the Mount with the intention of clashing with Jewish visitors should they attempt to enter the site.
The Murabitun were outlawed by Ya’alon along with their female counterparts, the Murabitat, earlier this month after they were accused of attacking non-Muslim visitors to the Temple Mount and fomenting violent altercations with police.
Photographs obtained by police show stockpiles of rocks inside al-Aqsa Mosque following Sunday morning violence
Palestinian protesters are planning for more violence on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Monday, stockpiling rocks inside the al-Aqsa Mosque at the site after a morning of clashes, new images indicated Sunday.
The photographs, which Channel 2 television said Sunday night were released by Palestinians and obtained by Jerusalem district police, show lines and heaps of masonry inside the mosque, hours after rioters clashed with police as Muslims marked the end of Eid al-Fitr and Jews prepared to celebrate the festival of Sukkot.
According to Channel 2, the stones were prepared in advance of Monday’s return of Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount, after they were banned from entering Sunday in an effort to maintain the recent calm after days of riots.
Some religious Jews traditionally ascend to the site, considered the holiest in Judaism, during the week-long Sukkot holiday that began Sunday evening.
The discovery of the images led Jerusalem police chief Moshe Edri on Sunday evening to impose an indefinite ban on male Muslim worshipers under the age of 50 from entering the site, the TV report said.
Saw the moon tonight...looks like a regular moon...no red tint...
Spoke too soon...didn't realize that there was an eclipse.
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