Israel Police forces entered the Temple Mount compound Sunday morning following an attempt by Muslim rioters to prevent Jews from visiting. Nine Arabs were injured in the confrontation that followed.
The police noticed in the early morning hours, before the visits to the Temple Mount began, hundreds of young people, some of them masked, who began collecting stones in the Temple Mount Plaza and tried to block the entry points using stones, iron rods, and improvised barricades. After breaching the compound, which has become the Israel Police’s preferred strategic response to Arab rioters on the holiest site to Judaism, officers spread out in the plaza to allow the visits and protect the Jewish visitors, and soon after the compound was opened to everyone.
On Friday night, a sign was hung in the Temple mount compound that read: “Hamas calls on you to a general mobilization to repel the herd of settlers who are threatening to invade al-Aqsa.” Police forces removed the sign about two hours later.
שלט שנתלה ערב במתחם מסגד אל אקצא בהר הבית: “חמאס קורא לכם להתגייסות כללית ולהדיפת עדר המתנחלים שמאיימים לפלוש לאל אקצא”@SuleimanMas1 pic.twitter.com/TTbHWwSyQZ
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) April 16, 2022
Near the Lions’ Gate in Jerusalem, Arabs threw stones at an Egged bus that was making its way to the Old City. Some of the passengers on the bus were slightly injured and received medical treatment. Police arrested two suspects in the stone-throwing.
מתיחות בירושלים | מתפרעים רגמו אוטובוסים באבנים סמוך לעלייה לשער האריות בעיר העתיקה@VeredPelman pic.twitter.com/rPgRDWu0AF
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) April 17, 2022
After the riots on Friday on the Temple Mount, on Saturday, Defense Minister Benny Gantz decided not to impose a lockdown on the Arabs in Judea and Samaria during the Passover intermediary days (Despite Ramadan Terror, Gantz Ends Holiday Closure at Crossings with Palestinian Authority). Gantz made the decision after assessing the situation with the heads of the defense establishment. Following this, the closure ended at midnight.
Despite the clashes on the Temple Mount early Friday morning, it appears that the Arabs––across the board––don’t want a repeat of the 2021 Operation Guardian of the Walls encounters. Inside Israeli Arab society, beyond the condemnations and rallies attended by a few dozens in Umm al-Fahm and Nazareth, no unusual events were recorded, other than a Haifa teenage Arab girl who stabbed an older Jewish man after her father had gone out of his way to warn the authorities his daughter was acting crazy.
And there was that Arab terrorist armed with a knife who was caught trying to climb the fence of the settlement of Beit El during the holiday. The terrorist, in his 20s, a resident of the village of Silwad, was apprehended by the local council’s security coordinator and security officer. In his interrogation, he said he intended to carry out an attack.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad, who were calling for “mass mobilization” in Judea and Samaria, refrained from launching rockets, bringing masses to the fence, or flying incendiary balloons – for now.