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Riots Break Out on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount

Political Analysts Weigh in With Risks and Highlights

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Posted on: 
12 Aug 2019
Riots Break Out on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount
On Sunday, Jews around the world marked Tisha Be’Av, a date on the Hebrew calendar when a long list of calamities have afflicted the Jewish People throughout history, including the destruction of both the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem. The Western Wall in the capital’s Old City was the site of a procession at the start of Tisha Be’Av on Saturday evening, while riots broke out on the nearby Temple Mount Sunday as Moslem protesters gathered to mark the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha attacked Jewish visitors to the site. Several Israeli political leaders decried the situation whereby Jewish worshipers are unable to visit their holy sites on their holy days without fear of being attacked.

A police statement that visits to the site had been barred by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu due to the presence of thousands of Moslems was met with fierce denunciations by some of Netanyahu’s political rivals on the right, including former justice minister Ayelet Shaked and Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who declared that the “decision to capitulate to Arab terrorism and violence at the holiest place for the Jewish people is the root of the loss of deterrence in other areas.”

Netanyahu later denied issuing the order to keep Jewish worshippers off the Temple Mount, dismissing the condemnations as political posturing by his opponents.

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Meanwhile, Palestinian groups also weighed in, with officials from terror militias Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas echoing statements by PA officials blaming Israel for the violence on the Temple Mount and warning that a regional sectarian war could be sparked by it. However, aside from Jordan, which an Israeli official noted always felt obligated to condemn Israel when such incidents occurred, most Arab governments declined to comment or else offered only muted, formulaic criticism.


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