The decision to open the Mount to the Jews was made after the Muslims began rioting on the holy site.
By Aryeh Savir, TPS and United with Israel Staff
The Israeli government and Jerusalem police initially banned Jews from visiting the Temple Mount on Sunday – during the mourning day of Tisha B’Av, when Jews commemorate the destruction of the two Holy Temples in Jerusalem – but then reversed its decision.
The police had announced they were shutting down the holy site to Jews as the Muslims were celebrating the holiday of Eid al-Adha, and they feared that the throngs of Muslims would clash with the Jews.
Muslim leaders over the weekend called on Jerusalem’s Muslims to attend prayers at the Temple Mount and ensure that Jews could not visit the site during their day of national mourning.
Hundreds of Jews stood at the entrance to the Temple Mount for hours while fasting, waiting for the police to admit them.
The Muslims began to riot after their prayers concluded and police forces stormed the compound while using crowd control means. At least three police officers were injured.
The decision to open the Mount to the Jews was made after the Muslims began rioting.
Hamas hung a mass banner on the Temple Mount conveying their holiday greetings to the Muslim worshippers, in violation of Israel’s sovereignty at the site.
Member of Knesset Nir Barkat, formerly Jerusalem mayor. called on the police to allow the Jews to visit the holy site and not surrender to Muslim violence.
Former Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, head of the United Right, said, “Netanyahu’s decision to close the Temple Mount is a national disgrace. The Mount is the most sacred place for the Jewish people.”
Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich, also of the United Right said, “The closure of the Temple Mount for Jews on Tisha B’Av is a disgrace, the kind that reminds us of why we are fasting today. The decision to surrender to terrorism and Arab violence in the holiest place of the Jewish people is at the root of the loss of deterrence in other sectors as well.”
Earlier in the day, a Jew walking through the Old City in Jerusalem was moderately injured by a bottle thrown at him, presumably by Muslims.
Similarly, Jews driving towards the Western Wall were attacked while passing through an Arab neighborhood. Both cars were heavily damaged, but no Jews were injured in the attacks.