While harassment of Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site, has been ongoing, the abuse on Wednesday took it to a new level, as reported by Israel National News (Arutz Sheva).
Hundreds of Arab visitors to the Temple Mount surrounded a group of Jews visiting the site on Wednesday morning.
The group’s guide, Asaf Fried, told Arutz Sheva about the incident in which Arab rioters shouted at the Jews, chanting Allahu Akbar (“Allah is great”), and holding up three fingers in a celebratory sign of the three Israeli teens kidnapped two weeks ago.
Video from the charged confrontation, in which at one point a Muslim woman hits the camera, can be seen here:
Fried told Arutz Sheva that in the 22 years that he has been visited the Mount, he has never seen such a serious and shocking breaching of the public order.
Israeli police authorized the visit of Fried’s large group of Jews who came from around Israel, but the harassment began soon after they ascended to the Mount.
“We’re already used to them shouting at us,” said Friend, noting that police directives mandate that when faced by Arab shouting, Jewish groups are to advance quickly and try to escape the Arab visitors.
Temple Mount Violence Instigated by Children at Hamas Summer Camp
This time however things got out of hand, as more and more Arab rioters joined the jeering mob as the Jewish group advanced.
“It started with children in a Hamas summer camp, continued with women who joined and slowly the wave of attackers swelled. More and more older people joined the calls of ‘Khaybar Khaybar O Jews,'” said Fried, noting an anti-Semitic Muslim call recalling an alleged massacre of Jews in Mohammed’s times.
Fried reported that the Muslim rioters threw shoes, along with the shouts and curses. Eventually the deafening din caused Fried to stop trying to provide the group he was guiding with information about the holy site, given that he simply could not be heard.
Police tried to separate between the approaching Arab rioters and the Jewish group, with more officers showing up as the situation grew quickly out of the control.
However, Fried reports that the roughly 40 officers’ attempt to separate collapsed in the face of the hundreds of Arab rioters. At that point, the police occupied themselves with hurrying the Jewish group off of the Mount as quickly as possible.
‘We can’t pray, but they can curse and throw things’
“It wasn’t just an unpleasant feeling, but rather a feeling that at any second someone could whip out a knife and stab someone. The local rules of visiting prevent us from praying out loud and we are forced to receive those rules and pray in our hearts, but they are allowed to curse, shout and throw things at us,” said Fried, summarizing the discriminatory status quo.
Fried reports that the police avoid arresting Arab rioters or those leading the mob so as to “keep the quiet,” and that if any arrests occur, the rioters are quickly released out of a fear of Arab repercussions.
“The Arabs understand that. They feel in charge. They’re manipulating the kidnapping and the minor Israeli response – they feel they are winning. I would expect as punishment for the kidnapping that the Arab movement on the Mount be arrested, or at least that the Hamas summer camp on the Mount would be stopped,” said Fried.
The visitors to the Mount in Fried’s group report that the incident gave them a fuller understanding as to the current reality of the holy site, which is under the de facto control of the Jordanian Waqf (Islamic trust).
This report originally appeared on Israel National News.