Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90
Jews waiting in line to enter the Temple Mount during Passover, April 18, 2022.

The Muslims rioted yet again in front of the al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount Wednesday morning, throwing stones and confronting security forces. Mind you, this riot erupted before any Jewish person had set foot on the holiest site to Jews. In fact, because of the riots, the Jews were delayed from ascending the mountain, and a long line was created at the entrance to the Mughrabis Gate.

The holy compound was finally opened for Jews after about a half hour’s delay and would remain open, because it’s Ramadan, only until 10:30 AM. In other words, as the Arabs are discovering anew, violence pays. At the same time, according to the Israeli group Temple Mount Management, Jewish visits to the Temple Mount in the first three days of Chol Ha’Moed reached 2,275, the highest stats ever for Passover, which is even more impressive considering the limited times for Jewish visits on Ramadan.

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Temple Mount Management reported Wednesday morning that during the Jewish visits, “explosion sounds were heard occasionally from the mosque at the southern part of the compound as rioters have been hiding it for the third day in a row. Arab groups, mainly around the Dome of the Rock, screamed at and against the Jewish ascenders. The police did not respond.” Also: “Notorious Arab rioters were spotted on the Mount, among them Mohammad Abu Hummus, who was also seen in Isawia and Shimon HaZadik, increasing tensions.”

Following Tuesday night’s reports that the Temple Mount is expected to be closed to Jews next week until the end of Ramadan and the Eid al-Fitr Muslim holiday (Bennett Closes Temple Mount to Jews Until the End of Ramadan), Religious Zionism Chairman MK Bezalel Smotrich said that “Bennett and Shaked have succumbed to terrorism and threats and are closing the Temple Mount to Jews. How much have we warned against the formation of a government that would rely on the Islamic movement and deposit Israel’s security in its hands.”

Otzma Yehudit Chairman MK Itamar Ben Gvir responded to the move, saying, “Closing the Temple Mount to Jews, the holiest place for the people of Israel, is a victory for Hamas, for terrorism, for the riots of our enemies. Bennett this evening gave an award to the enemy and the keys of the state to the Shura Council. This delusional decision will cost us blood. Surrender to the enemy only increases terrorism.”

Yamina, for its part, rejected the accusations, reminding everyone that the move was a routine procedure: “Over the past decade, under the ‘Netanyahu outline,’ the Temple Mount has usually been closed to Jews during the last ten days of Ramadan because the Muslims stay for a sleepover on the mountain (except for exceptional events, based on police an assessment of the situation). That’s the way it will be this year, too.”

Below: “Because this is a particularly explosive issue it is important to be precise with the facts. Netanyahu also closed the Temple Mount to Jews during tense periods, including last May. As is well known, Ra’am was not in the coalition and the closure of the mountain for visits raised the ire of right-wing MKs for years, such as Smotrich, Ben Gvir, and others, whom Netanyahu called the ‘Twitter cabinet.’”

The Yamina message continued: “The ‘astonishment’ that gripped the Likud and Smotrich people is completely fake, based on purely political motives. The decision regarding the Temple Mount will be made based on security considerations and the recommendations of the security forces, as in every year.”

Yamina then reminded the right that “last year, Netanyahu closed the Temple Mount for 19 days under Hamas pressure.”

The Temple Mount Management group reported Wednesday morning that “853 Jews ascended today, according to the police. A few hundred of them entered only for the shorter route, staying on the Mount for only a few minutes. Many were unable to arrive at the site during the three hours of operation. Jewish groups were capped at 30 people per group this morning, followed by groups of 50.

“The antiquities in the compound are still at the eastern side of the Mount, blocking the path. Glass bottle shards were seen on the floor as well (see: More Provocation: Ancient Artifacts Still Being Used by Arabs to Block Jewish Visitors in Temple Mount Compound).

“The police didn’t allow any stops throughout the ascents, forcing the Jewish groups to walk the entire time. Mordechai Kedar led two large group tours on behalf of Beyadenu and Im Tirzu totaling 100 ascenders.”

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.