Israeli Arab MK Jamal Zahalka has been summoned by Israel Police for questioning after screaming and cursing at Jews and the police officers protecting them Tuesday during a tour of the Temple Mount grounds.
Zahalka’s behavior was gauged to intimidate and traumatize the visitors into leaving, although he restrained himself and did not touch anyone. Had a Jew behaved in such a manner at the same place, police would have immediately arrested him and thrown him in jail without the slightest hesitation.
The Arab MK, however, is merely being summoned to appear this coming Sunday for questioning. Police have confirmed the summons but will not reveal details about the focus of the investigation.
Zahalka, who is a member of the Joint Arab List, joined a group of Muslim demonstrators who harass Jews who visit the site, the holiest in Judaism and third holiest in Islam.
Some have physically attacked the visitors and the police, and for the past two weeks such incidents have often deteriorated into riots. In a number of incidents Palestinian Arab “worshipers” have barricaded themselves in the Al Aqsa mosque on the site, which has been turned into a kind of fortress, complete with stockpiled firecrackers, firebombs (Molotov cocktails), piles of rocks and bottles for hurling at police and visitors to the compound. In at least one instance, security personnel searched the mosque and found pipe bombs after receiving intelligence that explosives had been brought into the mosque for use against visitors and police during the Jewish holiday season.
Four other Israeli Arab Knesset members joined Zahalka at the site on Tuesday, possibly to further incite Muslim followers and whip up support for more anti-Israel violence.
Only Zahalka confronted police and the Jewish vistors who came to tour the compound, however. The MK physically approached the group, gesticulating wildly and shrieking in Hebrew, “Insane criminals, fascists, racists! Get out, go to hell! You are hurting Muslims!”
He then turned to an officer, and from a distance of less than a foot away, screamed at him, “Why are you letting them come here? Shame on you! Is it only to offend Muslims? This place is not yours!! Get OUT of here! Go home; you are not wanted. This does not belong to you.”