Masked Arab rioters had prepared pipe bombs to be filled with explosives in a planned pogrom against Jews and non-Jewish tourists on the Temple Mount Sunday.
Advanced intelligence helped police foil the attack, and law enforcement officers startled the Arabs shortly after dawn, as reported here.
Police spokesmen stated:
Masked protesters who were inside the mosque threw stones and fireworks at police. Suspect pipes that could be filled with homemade explosives were also found at the entry to the [Al Aqsa] mosque.
Police later removed any doubts that the objects were not pipe bombs.
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said the presence of pipe bombs at the on the Temple Mount “requires all of us to think again about arrangements” at the holy site.
Almost exactly a year ago, violence on the Temple Mount appeared to be on the verge of an all-out religious war, but a secret meeting between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Jordan’s King Abdullah resulted in a mutual understanding that Jews would continue to be prohibited from praying on the Temple Mount and Arabs Muslims would put a stop to violence.
The understanding lasted for several months, but a new round of escalation began several months ago.
Jordan’s reaction to today’s clash was not encouraging, and the Kingdom blamed Israel for “raiding” the mosque.
The Palestinian Authority-based Ma’an News Agency reported,:
An AFP journalist saw a number of people being detained and heavy police deployments in the Old City.
A Palestinian boy identified as Anas Siyam was evacuated to hospital after he was hit with a rubber-coated steel bullet in the chest. His condition is unknown….
A spokesman of the Palestinian Authority’s Fatah movement in Jerusalem, Raafat Ulayyan, urged the Palestinians in the West Bank and in Israel to ‘hurry to defend’ the holy Muslim place from which ‘our prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven.’