Israeli police clashed with Arab rioters on the Temple Mount on Sunday before the holiday of Sukkot. Members of the Morabiton and Moribitot ascended to the Al Aqsa compound on Saturday night, remaining overnight and preparing for a clash with police on Sunday morning.
After a week of violence, police lifted restrictions for Muslims on the Temple Mount over the weekend, allowing them free access for the last day of the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday, while preventing Jews from visiting the site. Knesset Members from the Arab Joint List arrived at the site on Sunday, and spoke against allowing Jews to go on the Temple Mount.
“We are here, and we thank the Arab public for answering calls to protect the Al-Aqsa Mosque from Jews,” MK Basel Ghattas stated, urging Muslims to prevent Jews from going up to the Temple Mount in the future.
Muslims threw stones and hurled fireworks at police, barricading themselves inside the mosque. Police responded with riot control measures. Fortunately, no injuries were reported on either side.
The Morabiton and Morabitot are Muslims paid by the Waqf to harass non-Muslims who visit the Temple Mount, and have recently been ruled illegal, leading to an outbreak of violence that began with the Jewish New Year. When the violence began, police discovered pipe bombs and rocks prepared for confrontations.
Israel’s Cabinet, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has moved towards tougher measures for stone throwing, including mandatory minimum sentences, and allowing security forces to use small caliber sniper rifles in life threatening situations. This comes in the wake of an Israeli motorist dying as the result of a stone-throwing attack.