Vicious riots broke out this past week in the Old City of Jerusalem. All that was known was that Muslim rioters attacked Israeli police, but now more details have emerged which shed light on the situation.
It was reported that the riots that took place near the entrance to the Temple Mount left 34 individuals injured and 14 of those people had to be hospitalized. Two police officers were killed.
The deceased officers were identified as 30-year-old Hail Satawi, 22-year-old Kaamil Snaan. They came from Mughar and Hurfeish which are towns in the Arab Druze villages located in northern Israel.
This is the third day in a row these rioters have been fighting and devolving to violent tactics. Some of the Muslim protesters hurled Molotov cocktails, as well as, rocks at various Israeli security forces near the Lions Gate. In retaliation, the Israeli forces were forced to dismantle the crowds with stun grenades and rubber bullets. The Lions Gate is the main access point to the Mount.
It was allegedly reported that Muslim followers followed through with these attacks because they were upset the Israeli government had installed metal detectors at the Mount’s entrance. The Old City is the holiest site in all of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity so it makes sense why they are constantly arguing over it.
The metal detectors had been in place because of the savage terrorist attack undertaken by Muslim worshippers the previous weekend despite Muslim worshippers insisting they were protesting over Israeli attempts to stop Muslim worshipping at the Temple Mount.
Their argument is nonsensical considering the metal detectors have been in place for years and they protect both Muslim and Jewish worshippers trying to get to the Western Wall. As well, the Israeli government allows Waqf, which is controlled by the Jordanians, to serve as the Temple Mount custodians to ensure that Muslim worshippers can access the Mount.
The Times of Israel reported,
“The organization headed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called for marches in the West Bank toward Israeli checkpoints in protest of the new measures and announced that Friday prayers, when many worshipers go to the Temple Mount, would be conducted in public squares instead.
Palestinian officials denounced a “fierce and organized attack” by Israel against East Jerusalemites. They called for maintaining the delicate status quo at the Temple Mount, according to which the Jordanian Waqf manages the site while Israel controls access. Muslims accuse Israel of breaking the status quo by installing the metal detectors.
Misinformation regarding Israeli plans to make changes to the status quo surfaces frequently, roiling the Palestinian street and angering the Arab world.”
The Times Israel reported the following about the attack that led to over 30 people being injured,
“According to police, after evening prayers at a gate outside the Temple Mount, a group of Muslim worshipers “started throwing rocks and bottles at the officers” who were stationed in the Old City. The Red Crescent said 34 people were injured, including 14 people needing hospitalization. One person had a serious chest injury, a spokesperson said. Police said two officers were lightly injured in the fighting.”
Nobody knows how the violence began the other night but they do know it started at the evening prayer. Sadly, Sheikh Akram a-Sabri who is a former Mufti of Jerusalem and al-Aksa’s preacher was badly injured during the fallout. Considering the violence has ramped up we could see more rioting in the next few days that is far more orchestrated with even more deadly consequences.
Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said,
“An incident like this, to the best of my memory, is unprecedented — the use of live weapons and firing from within the Temple Mount complex,’’ said Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan. “The terrorists desecrated the holiness of the mount.”
While the Israeli police noted,
“The Israel Police continues to act to enable a return to a safe routine in the Temple Mount area, its entrances and the wider area.”
Hamas spokesman Abdel Latif al-Qanua said,
“The Hamas movement praises the guerrilla attack in Jerusalem. It is a legitimate right for our people and the best evidence of their unity in resisting the brutal occupation.”
It would not be surprising to hear of more deaths in the Old City this week.