Photo Credit: Arye Savir / TPS
Heaps of stones stockpiled for use in riots were found by security personnel on the Temple Mount early in the day on Tisha B'Av.

The Islamist Ra’am (United Arab List) party headed by Deputy Minister Mansour Abbas condemned the flood of Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount during Tisha B’Av, the national day of mourning by the Jewish People for the fallen Holy Temples, both of which were built on the site now occupied by an Arab mosque.


The party, a member of the coalition government, said in a statement, “The people of the UAL and the activists of the Islamic Movement will defend the sanctity of Al-Aqsa Mosque with their bodies,” adding that efforts had been made to convince the Israeli government to bar Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount, one of the holiest sites in the Jewish faith.

The party took care, however, not to attribute the statement to Mansour Abbas, who is a deputy minister and supposed to be an integral part of the Israeli government opposed by Islamists.

Abbas himself posted a tweet wishing the Jews an easy fast, but then he deleted it. A tweet that did include his photo as party leader said Ra’am “will not accept the song ‘HaTikva’ at Al-Aqsa,” a reference to the national anthem of the State of Israel that was sung by visiting Jews in the Temple Mount compound.

More than 1,500 Jews ascended to the Temple Mount to honor the ancient fallen centers of the Jewish faith on Tisha B’Av, the most somber day on the Jewish calendar. According to Israel’s Channel N12 News, there were 1,679 Jewish visitors to the site.

On the evening that begins observance of the day, Jews sat on the floor in synagogue reciting Lamentations, in Hebrew called “Eicha,” the long expression of grief for the fallen Holy Temples and for the fate of fallen Jerusalem, as well as numerous other tragedies that befell Jews on this day.

Israel Police deployed massive forces in Jerusalem’s Old City ahead of Tisha B’Av to ensure that worshipers and visitors to the Temple Mount would be safe.

As early as 5 am Sunday, Arab “worshipers” were already hurling stones at police and security forces while yelling hate-filled epithets about Israel and Jews. Heaps of stockpiled rocks were also discovered at various points in the Temple Mount compound in preparation for riots later in the day. The would-be rioters were dispersed by Israeli Border Guard Police.

In an early morning situation assessment held by the prime minister with top Israeli security officials, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett instructed personnel to allow Jewish visits to the site.

Bennett met again on Sunday afternoon with Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev and Israel Police Inspector General Koby Shabtai to review security arrangements for the Temple Mount, where “activists” organize ongoing incitement against Jews.

The prime minister thanked the public security minister and the police inspector general for “managing the events on the Temple Mount with responsibility and consideration, while maintaining freedom of worship for Jews on the Mount,” the Prime Minister’s Office told reporters in a statement.

“Prime Minister Bennett emphasized that freedom of worship on the Temple Mount will be fully preserved for Muslims as well, who will soon be marking the fast of the Day of Arafah and the holiday of Eid al-Adha.”


Previous articlePhotos of Tisha B’Av in Israel
Next articleConcern in Israel and US over Future of PA When Abbas Exits
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, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.