Clashes Between Palestinians, Police Rock Temple Mount on Eve of Rosh Hashanah

Israeli security forces claim to find pipe bomb after entering flashpoint compound, clashing with Palestinian youths who barricaded themselves within Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Palestinians shout in front of Israeli security forces who block a road leading to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City on September 13, 2015.
Palestinians shout in front of Israeli security forces who block a road leading to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City on September 13, 2015.Credit: AFP

Palestinians and Israeli police forces clashed at the Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem on Sunday morning, hours before the start of the Jewish new year.

According to the police, Palestinian youths barricaded themselves within the Al-Aqsa Mosque, located within the compound. They reportedly attacked security forces from its entrance, pelting them with stones and firing flares, prompting a rare police raid. The police also said they found a pipe bomb at the site.

Police raid Temple Mount compound on eve of Rosh Hashanah. September 13, 2015.Credit: Israel Police

Later on Sunday morning, Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel visited the complex, together with Jewish activists. The visit ended without incident, although scuffles broke out between Palestinian schoolchildren and police officers blocking the gates leading to the site.

At least 650 Jews visited the site until it was closed at 11 A.M. Two Palestinians were arrested for allegedly attacking police officers.

Israeli security forces stand guard as a group of Jewish youth leave after visiting al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City on September 13, 2015.Credit: AFP

Responding to the clashes, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would "use every means at its disposal to preserve the status quo and law and order in the Temple Mount."

He added that it was Israel's "right and duty to act against rioters to protect freedom of worship" at the site. Israel's security forces would "move aggressively and immediately against those throwing stones, firebombs or pipe bombs," Netanyahu said in a statement.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he "strongly condemned the aggression of the Israeli storming of Al-Aqsa this morning, with troops and occupation police."

The Jordanian government urged Israel to stop any action that could destabilize the status quo at the Temple Mount. A spokesperson called on Israel to stop what it termed "provocations" that could harm the holy site.

The Muslim Brotherhood movement in Jordan announced it would be holding a demonstration in Amman later Sunday in the wake of the event.

According to Israel Police, groups of Palestinian youths were planning to clash with security forces and disrupt visits to the holy site on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, and prepared to barricade themselves within the mosque, blocking its entrances with bookcases, metal bars, heavy ropes and even nets.

Security forces attempted to preempt the youths, surprising them with a raid at roughly 6:45 A.M., in the hopes of opening the compound as planned. Their presence sparked the initial clashes, with masked Palestinian youths fleeing into the mosque and attacking the forces with stones and bricks, and firing scores of flares at them.

The police eventually cleared the entrance to the mosque, removing the makeshift barricades set up by the Palestinians, and even claimed to have sealed the mosque with some rioters inside.

"This morning's incident is severe and is being examined by the relevant authorities," said Jerusalem Police's chief, Moshe Edri. The police "make every effort to permit freedom of worship for all religions and denominations in Jerusalem, but will continue to show zero tolerance to any attempt to disrupt the order and harm the status quo in the Temple Mount," he added.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott