Israeli security forces made good on a vow to control whatever violence radical Islamist jihadists dished out on Friday in their attempt to determine the policy of the Jewish State over the Temple Mount.
An Arab teen was shot and killed on Friday afternoon as hundreds of other Arabs flooded into Jerusalem’s Ma’ale Zeitim (Mount of Olives) neighborhood, also known as Ras el-Amud, rioting and attacking Jewish homes in the area. An Arab medical source told reporters that a 17-year-old Arab boy was allegedly killed in the melee. Mohammad Mahmoud Sharef was hit in the neck by gunfire and died of his wounds shortly after, according to the source. A second rioter also allegedly died after having been evacuated by friends to Mokasad Hospital, but there’s been no confirmation of either report by independent sources, and both have since been laid to rest. The circumstances are under investigation, according to Israel Police.
Thousands of Muslim worshipers gathered to pray in the Old City of Jerusalem, outside the Temple Mount compound on Friday. When the crowd became violent outside the Lion’s Gate, however, Israeli police cleared the street and moved the crowd back, forming a checkpoint at the bottom of the hill leading to the Old City entrance.
“All the traffic arteries in the Old City basin were opened to traffic and order was restored,” Israel Police said in a statement. “The police continue to deploy in the Old City and in general to maintain security and public order.”
Four hundred Palestinian Authority Arabs hurled rocks at Israeli security forces at the Qalandiya checkpoint north of Jerusalem early Friday afternoon after midday Islamic prayers. The attack was met with stun grenades and tear gas, then a barrage of rubber bullets to disperse those rioters who continued to attack.
Riots were also reported in Hebron, where Israeli forces dispersed the mob with standard crowd control methods, in Bethlehem near the Tomb of the Biblical matriarch Rachel, in Judea near the Palestinian Authority village of Beit Umar, and on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Riots also took place in Saladin, A-Tur, Rockefeller and on the outskirts of Jerusalem, with Arabs hurling rocks, firebombs (Molotov cocktails) and other objects at Israeli police forces, including lit fireworks.
Four Israeli police officers were wounded during the riots and received medical treatment at the scene.
The violence began late Thursday night. The new security measures, which include the installation of special cameras atop high poles outside the compound, have infuriated officials of the Islamic Waqf Authority that manages day-to-day affairs at the site.
Another Muslim the helped three terrorists smuggle their weapons into the Temple Mount compound prior to the attack which left two Israeli police officers dead and more injured last Friday. That accomplice was arrested.
Earlier in the day, Israel Police arrested the head of the Tanzim terrorist organization in Jerusalem on on suspicion of incitement against Israel involving the current Temple Mount crisis. Tanzim, headed by imprisoned murderer Marwan Barghouti, is a military wing of the Palestinian Authority’s leading Fatah faction. Also arrested and charged with incitement, along with the Tanzim member, was a senior Fatah official. Both were being questioned by police, although it appeared they would likely be released at the conclusion of the investigation.
Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, meanwhile, continues trying to find someone in the international arena to force the Israeli government to remove the metal detectors from the entrances to the Temple Mount compound. Abbas spoke Thursday night with U.S. presidential adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, asking that the American government force Israel to remove the magnometers.
While Abbas appealed for support from the United States to remove security measures, however, the U.S. State Department was warning American citizens in Jordan to be on alert while traveling in that country due to concerns of terror attacks:
“U.S. Embassy Amman [has] received reports of planned demonstrations following noon prayers in Amman on Friday, July 21, 2017, in response to the ongoing situation at al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem,” the alert said.
“Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. You should avoid areas of demonstrations, and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations.
“Due to reported unrest along portions of the Desert Highway (HWY 15), U.S. Embassy Amman urges travelers to avoid travel on the Desert Highway between Ma’an and Aqaba, which also includes a popular route to Wadi Rum. Embassy Amman personnel have been temporarily prohibited from travelling on this route and instructed to use the Dead Sea Highway as an alternative route. Travelers or visitors should adhere to Jordanian police and public security personnel guidance in the impacted areas.”