Clashes Break Out Between Jews, Palestinians on Temple Mount

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Jewish visitors are attacked by Palestinians after they prayed at the Temple Mount on Tuesday, April 26, 2016.
Jewish visitors are attacked by Palestinians after they prayed at the Temple Mount on Tuesday, April 26, 2016.Credit: Screenshot/Qpress/Facebook

Clashes broke out on the Temple Mount on Tuesday after two Jewish visitors began bowing and praying at the contested holy site in violation of visitation rules.

In response, they were attacked by dozens of Palestinians and representatives of the Waqf, the Muslim religious trust that manages the site. Police officers separated the sides and drew the two Jewish visitors away, which led to the restoration of calm.

Eight Jewish visitors were removed from the Temple Mount by police throughout the day for violating visitation rules by bowing down and praying at the site.

Overall, 527 visitors entered the site on Tuesday, among them 400 tourists and the others Jews who visited for religious reasons.

Jerusalem Police said "the police are prepared today, as they are throughout the holiday, with the best of forces, in the city's east and west, at the Western Wall and the Temple Mount, to enable all visitors and believers, of all religions and communities, to exercise the right of freedom of religion and worship. The police will act decisively against anyone who attempts to violate the customary status quo regulations."

On Monday, the Jordanian government called on Israel to prevent the entry of Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount, hoping to stop tensions from escalating. On the Jordanian news agency’s website, government spokesman Mohammad al-Momani said such visits were a flagrant breach of international law and understandings reached between the various sides.

Tens of thousands of people flocked to the Western Wall on Monday morning to attend a priestly blessing ceremony. The prayer was conducted under heavy guard due to security tension in the capital. The police removed two Jewish visitors from the Temple Mount for violating the site’s visitation rules when they were thought to be trying to pray there.

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