Photo Credit: Shalev Shalom/TPS
A Muslim rioter on the Temple Mount. April 18, 2022

Israeli police arrested on Wednesday a Muslim on suspicion of rioting, violating the public order, throwing rocks at police forces, and releaving himself on the roof of the Al Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount.

On Jerusalem Day,  May 29, in the morning leading up to the start of Jewish visits to the Temple Mount, masked Muslims began a riot from the mosque, throwing rocks and objects and firing fireworks at the police. The police forces acted to maintain order and repelled the rioters into the mosque and locked the doors. Already that day, the police arrested suspects, and indictments were filed against some of them.

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During those violent riots, a suspect was identified as urinating on the roof of the Al Aqsa mosque and desecrating the sanctity of the place. The police launched an investigation and arrested the suspect, 22, at his home in Ein Rafa, on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

He will face charges of throwing stones at police on the Temple Mount and desecrating the sanctity of the mosque.

In recent days, the police completed the investigation of two other rioters, after detectives from the Jerusalem Police arrested them in the Old City on Jerusalem Day. The detention of the suspects, aged 17 and 19 from eastern Jerusalem, was extended and indictments were filed against them by the State Attorney’s Office.

“Unfortunately, in recent times we have witnessed time and time again the desecration of the mosque on the Temple Mount in a variety of configurations by lawbreakers and violent rioters who have harmed, first of all, the sanctity of the place and the public who worship it,” the police stated.

The police gave a list of the offenses, including ball games inside the mosque with shoes on when shoes should be removed prior to entering the mosque, causing damage to the inside of the mosque with stones and the throwing of objects, firing fireworks, and throwing Molotov cocktails that also fell on carpets and inside the mosque and almost caused a fire, relieving themselves on the roof of the mosque, smashing the windows of the mosque and more.

Jerusalem District Commander Doron Turgeman instructed his forces to continue with intelligence and investigative efforts toward further arrests.

The police will “continue to work resolutely to prosecute criminals, rioters, and lawbreakers, and expect every cleric and public leader that the place is important to him to condemn and to work for the removal of criminals who have nothing to do with prayers and the preservation of the sanctity of the mosque.”

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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.