Israel reopened the Temple Mount this morning after a firebomb attack yesterday on Israeli security forces and violent clashes between Israeli police and Muslim worshipers.
The violence erupted after a firebomb was thrown at a police post, which resulted in a fire on the Temple Mount. Israeli police entered the Temple Mount compound and closed off all entrances and exits in order to locate the perpetrators of the attack. This led to clashes between Israeli security forces and Muslim worshipers. Police said they found containers of flammable materials and Molotov cocktails during a search of the area.
Three Palestinian suspects were subsequently detained. According to the Red Crescent, four Palestinians were injured and taken to a nearby hospital. One police officer sustained light injuries from smoke inhalation.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas warned of “grave consequences” and said: “We call on the international community to intervene urgently in order to prevent the escalation … we are holding urgent talks with all relevant parties, particularly with Jordan, in order to put pressure on the Israeli government to put a stop to this dangerous escalation.”
Hatem Abdel Qader, a member of the Waqf Council, the Islamic authority that oversees the site, said: “This is an Israeli attempt to close the mosque complex, we don’t believe the Israeli claim that a firebomb was thrown, Israel was just looking for a reason to close the mosque.”
Tensions have been escalating on the Temple Mount due to a disagreement about the status of the Bab al-Rahma – a building on the Temple Mount closed in 2003 because Israeli police said Hamas activists used the site as a meeting area to plan attacks. The site was reopened last month by the Waqf Council after thousands of Palestinian worshipers forced their way into the area. Since then, there have been numerous clashes and growing tensions between Palestinians and the Israeli police.