The Israeli government and Jerusalem police initially banned Jews from visiting the Temple Mount on Sunday morning, during the mourning day of Tisha B’Av (9th of Av) on which the destruction of the two Jewish Temples in Jerusalem is commemorated.

The police announced they were shutting down the holy site to Jews as the Muslims were celebrating the holiday of Eid al-Adha (based on the biblical sacrifice of Isaac, though they claim the protagonist was Ishmael), and they feared that the throngs of Muslims would clash with the Jews.

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Muslim leaders over the weekend called on Jerusalem’s Muslims to attend prayers at the Temple Mount and ensure that Jews could not visit the site during their day of national mourning. They began their prayers an hour later than usual to ensure that the Muslim masses would still be on the site.

Scores of Jews stood at the entrance to the Temple Mount for hours while fasting, waiting for the police to admit them.

UPDATE: Just before 11 AM, police finally permitted a group of Jews to enter the Temple Mount for a quick visit a mere 200 meters onto the Jewish holy site, as Arabs rioted in the background.

After a few minutes, the police once again shut down the site to Jews, as the Arab riots increased in intensity.

The police tried again, and let in an unusually large group with Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, while the Arabs were rioting.

Video by Michael Miller:
NOTE: Students for the Temple Mount is running a fundraising campaign for promoting Jewish visits to the Temple Mount today, on Tisha B’Av. You can donate by clicking at this link.

1729 Jews visited the Temple Mount this Tisha B’Av, compared to 1440 the year before, according to a report on Rotter.net.

The Muslims began their rioting and violence early in the morning after their prayers concluded, and police forces used crowd control means. At least four police officers were injured.

Hamas hung a mass banner on the Temple Mount conveying their holiday greetings to the Muslim worshippers, in violation of Israel’s sovereignty at the site.

Member of Knesset Nir Barkat, formerly Jerusalem mayor. called on the police to allow the Jews to visit the holy site and not surrender to Muslim violence.

Minister Bezalel Smotrich called for an emergency cabinet meeting.

Earlier in the day, a Jewish teenager walking through the Old City in Jerusalem was moderately injured by a bottle thrown at him, presumably by Muslims.

Similarly, Jews driving towards the Kotel, the Western Wall, were attacked while passing through an Arab neighborhood. Both cars were heavily damaged, but no Jews were injured in the attacks. A policeman opened fired in the air to rescue one of the drivers. 2 suspected attackers were arrested from the second attack.

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