Photo Credit: Jamal Awad/Flash90
Ramadan on the Temple Mount, as Muslims pray towards Mecca. March 12, 2024

Israel authorities arrested 22 Israeli-Arabs and one Palestinian Authority Arab suspected of inciting violence on the Temple Mount over the weekend, the Israeli Police said on Sunday.

Police said several had led chants inciting and in support of terror attacks. Most were in their 20s. Seven of the suspects were arrested in their homes later in the day and further arrests are expected.


Muslim prayer services are more crowded than usual because of the month of Ramadan. The police stressed that while the majority of worshippers did not participate, many “served as an audience who watched or recorded the event.”

The police also denied rumors that several people were killed by a falling tree on the Temple Mount which PA Arab social media posts attributed to “occupation excavations.” The police said one person was injured when a tree collapsed from decay. The police said the tree was removed and the incident did not affect the observance of the prayers.

Police have boosted their monitoring of Arab social media networks for incitement and fake news during the Islamic month of Ramadan. Terror attacks have surged during Ramadan. Hamas has called for violence on the Temple Mount and spread rumors online that Israel intends to block the entrance to the holy site or place restrictions on worshippers.

Israeli authorities arrested an Arab resident of eastern Jerusalem for posting inflammatory content and expressing support for Hamas on social media platforms on Tuesday.

Online incitement targeting Arab teens has also been traced back to the Palestinian Authority and local Muslim clergy.

Israeli security forces have arrested more than 3,600 Arab terror suspects in Judea and Samaria since October 7, of whom around 1,600 are affiliated with Hamas.

The Temple Mount, where the First and Second Jewish Temples were built, is the overall holiest site in Judaism. The Western Wall is the only remnant of a retaining wall encircling the Temple Mount built by Herod the Great in the first century and is the holiest site where Jews can freely pray.

The discriminatory status quo governing the Temple Mount goes back to 1967, when Israel liberated the Old City of Jerusalem from Jordan during the Six-Day War. Fearing a religious war, then-defense minister Moshe Dayan agreed to let the Islamic Waqf, a Muslim trusteeship, continue managing the holy site’s day-to-day affairs, while Israel would maintain overall sovereignty and be responsible for security. The Waqf is overseen by Jordan.

According to the status quo, Jews and non-Muslims would be allowed to visit the Temple Mount, but not pray there.


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