Firebomb at the Temple Mount, Palestinian Riots Ensue

 In Foreign

On Tuesday, a Palestinian threw a firebomb at a police post, setting a fire and sparking riots. One policewoman was injured in the bombing. At least three Palestinians were arrested in the incident. The day was literally seconds from an all out religious war, according to Israeli media.

On Tuesday, police closed the Temple Mount and the access to the Old City due to the firebombing. After completing their search of the compound, they promised to reopen it for both Jews and Muslims on Wednesday.

The tensions have been rising at the Temple Mount for some time. Israeli police do not remove their shoes before entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which infuriates the Muslims. And that’s just the tiniest tip of the iceberg.

Haaretz reported,

Clashes broke out Tuesday on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem between Israeli police forces and Muslim worshipers after a firebomb was hurled toward a police post, causing a blaze to break out at the holy site. This adds to heightened tension around the Temple Mount in recent weeks over attempts to reopen a contested building closed off by Israel.

Police broke into the compound following the incident and arrested three people on suspicion of hurling the firebomb. All gates to the Temple Mount were closed, and police evacuated everyone present. The police announced later on Tuesday that the compound will be reopened to worshipers and other visitors on Wednesday morning. 

Back in January, a group of Muslim protesters barricaded themselves inside the Dome of the Rock (which has occurred before). In February, police arrested one of the Waqf officials after the unrest escalated (that’s happened before as well). Today’s move was viewed by Muslims as an attempt to remove their “authority” over the holy site. Muslims have reportedly been using a separate portion of the Mount as a “mosque” in violation of the agreement. Their purpose on all the issues? To remove any vestige of history that shows Jews ever held that site. They won’t succeed, but they will continue to try.

Part of the problem is that the Temple Mount is claimed by three different religions- Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. An agreement with Jordan gave Muslims authority over the Temple Mount and provides for ‘no Jews allowed’ at Al-Aqsa, but since it is inside Jerusalem, Israeli police do their best to keep order. Which the Muslims resent deeply.

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