Photo Credit: Miriam Alster / Flash 90
Tourists seen walking at the Dome of the Rock at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Islamists barricaded the doors to Jerusalem’s Dome of the Rock in the Temple Mount compound Monday, blocking Israeli security personnel from entering the building.

“This morning a number of local individuals on the Temple Mount closed and locked the doors of the Dome of the Rock, preventing police from entering,” Israel Police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld told JewishPress.com.

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“Police units remained at the scene outside until the doors were opened several hours later from those who had locked the doors.

“Police are looking into the incident; five people have been detained for questioning.”

According to a separate report by ABC News, security guards at the site refused to allow an Israeli police officer to enter for a routine security check because he was wearing a kipah. The guards to the site closed the doors to the “mosque” and barricaded themselves inside, said Firas Dibs, a spokesperson for the Islamic Waqf Authority who was quoted by the U.S.-based news outlet.

The director of the “mosque” sustained minor wounds, according to ABC News.

Contrary to popular misconception, the Dome of the Rock is actually not a mosque at all.

According to researchers, in the early Muslim era the Dome of the Rock was the site of worship services that were influenced by the ceremonies of the Jerusalem Temple: cleansing, incense, anointing the Foundation Stone with oil and surrounding it with curtains inspired by the divine parochet. The shrine, built around the Foundation Stone, just like the two Jewish Temples, was completed in 691 CE, by an architect named Yazid Ibn Salam, who was either Jewish himself or had Jewish aides.

There is a theory that Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik originally had the Dome of the Rock built as a shrine for the Jews, while Al Aqsa, the mosque on the southern end of the Temple Mount, was built for Muslims.

There is a trend where Muslims have recently begun referring to the entire Temple Mount compound, which they also call al-Haram ash-Sharif (“The Noble Compound”), as the Al Aqsa compound in order to confuse the general public and expand their claims to the ancient Jewish holy site.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.