Police barred Jews from visiting the Temple Mount in Jerusalem Wednesday morning after two Jewish groups prayed openly at the site.
Jewish visitors prayed openly at the Temple Mount in the absence of the Muslim group which usually monitors the site, which violated the site’s visitation rules for Jews. Two instances of open Jewish prayer prompted police to remove and detain visitors, according to Arutz Sheva 7.
“Following an additional violation of the visitation rules for the Temple Mount by a group of Jewish visitors who ascended the Mount, Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Levy ordered the group removed from the area and Temple Mount closed to Jewish visitors,” a spokesperson for the police said.
The Temple Mount is currently controlled by Muslims, who call it the Noble Sanctuary. Jews are allowed to visit the site but are prohibited from any form of praying and from bringing any religious paraphernalia. Officials of the Jordanian Waqf, an Islamic organization that monitors the Temple Mount, typically escort Jewish visitors. The Waqf refused to ascend the mount, however, in protest of the security measures enacted by Israeli police after the July 14 Palestinian terrorist attack.
Police suspect members of the Waqf aided the terrorists in the attack, which killed two border police officers, by storing weapons for them at the site and allowing them entrance. Advanced metal detectors and extra security cameras were installed at the Temple Mount, which members of the Waqf claim infringe on the practice of Islam.
Arab led riots erupted Tuesday night and Monday morning, following a call from imams and Palestinian leaders for a “Day of Rage,” in response to the new security measures at the Temple Mount. The Arab rioters injured at least one Jewish civilian and two police officers, according to Arutz Sheva 7.
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