As the Arabs rioted on the Temple Mount, they also worked to create physical barriers to prevent Jews from visiting their holiest site during the Biblical holiday of Passover.
Tom Nisani, head of the Temple Mount activist group Beyadenu, noted a sad irony in the actions of the Israeli police at the site.
“As you may recall, the police are cautious about the feelings of the Arabs,” Nisani noted. “So all visitors to the Temple Mount are not allowed to bring food and drink during the Ramadan fast. The Arabs always pay less attention to the sanctity of the place and have defiled it many times.”
Palestinian rioters have been filmed inside the Aqsa Mosque wearing shoes (considered disrespectful according to Islamic law) and even playing soccer inside the mosque.
“Jews have restricted access to the Temple Mount and are only permitted to walk along one set path,” Nisani said.” The Arabs have constructed barricades to prevent the Jews from walking this route.”
Despite these actions by the Arabs, the police prohibited Jews from straying from the set route, limiting Jewish visitors to groups of 30, with each group permitted 20 minutes to complete the circuit of the compound. Some groups were only allowed to walk a partial route.
“The Arabs have added to these tactics by scattering chametz [levened bread, prohibited during the eight days of Passover] on the Jews’ walking trail,” Nisani reported. Nisani also said that the Arabs had spread sharp objects along the path, including pins and broken glass. Jews are prohibited by Torah law from wearing leather shoes on the Temple Mount, and many devout Jews choose to visit the site barefoot.
“Due to the Arab violence, the police hurried us along and did not allow us to remove the barriers or pick up the glass shards,” Nisani said. “Neither did the police remove the barricades nor did they notify the Israel Antiquities Authority concerning the destruction of the artifacts. The barricades, including the Temple stones, are still standing.”
Perhaps the most tragic aspect of this racist behavior is that the Arabs’ destructive behavior is indiscriminate. The stones used in these barricades are artifacts used in the construction of the original Jewish Temples, with many of the precious stones being damaged.
“The extent of the archaeological damage is unclear,” Nisani said. It should be noted that in 2014, UNESCO designated the site as an Endangered Heritage Site. One of the threats cited was the Israeli government. At the same time, UNESCO declared the site as having historical significance to Islam while failing to mention any connection to Judaism or the two Temples the Bible describes as having stood at the site.