Four Israeli policemen were injured on Friday in clashes with Arab rioters on the Temple Mount after the Friday Muslim prayers. Arabs attacked the policemen with rocks and fireworks while dozens of Arabs barricaded themselves inside the Aqsa Mosque.
The gold-domed structure is the Dome of the Rock, known as Qubba al Sakhra in Arabic. Al Aqsa Mosque is the silver-domed structure at the southern end of the Temple Mount Compound.
Police used stun grenades and smoke grenades to control the crowds. 24 Arabs were arrested after Police Chief Yoram Halevy ordered police to enter the building. After the riots, the Temple Mount was closed to Muslims for four hours but reopened in the afternoon.
Jordanian government spokeswoman Jumana Ghneimat condemned “ongoing Israeli provocations at the mosque compound, including the storming of the site on Friday by Israeli police and their assault on Palestinian worshipers and employees of the Religious Endowments Authority.”
“Such reprehensible practices violate the sanctity of this holy place, provoke the feelings of Muslims around the world, and violate Israel’s legal obligations as an occupying power in East Jerusalem,” Ghneimat said in a statement quoted by the Anadolu news agency.
Ghneimat also said that the Israeli actions were “a violation of international conventions that stress the need to respect places of worship.”