Muslims Clash With Israel Police on Temple Mount, Jewish Western Wall Service Distrupted
Muslim worshippers praying at the Al-Aksa Mosque clashed with Israel Police officers on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Sunday morning. The violence comes as hundreds of Jewish pilgrims were expected to visit the site on Sunday, the fast of the 9th of Av, which marks the destruction of the two Jewish Holy Temples that had been constructed on the site.
The Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha, the festival of the sacrifice which commemorates the biblical Abraham’s near-sacrifice of his son, which also marks the end of the annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, also is observed this week.
The clashes come after the terror organization Hamas on Friday called on Muslims in Jerusalem to mass in the Old City and at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and to confront Israelis. Hamas also reportedly called on residents of Gaza, which it controls, to prepare to defend Jerusalem.
On Saturday night, hundreds of national religious, right-wing Jewish worshippers took over the section of the Western Wall reserved for egalitarian services in order to disrupt their annual service for the Fast of the 9th of Av. They erected a partition to separate men and women and also drowned out the sounds of the women reading from the megillah Eicha during the egalitarian services.
The space for egalitarian prayer had been allocated under a government headed by Binyamin Netanyahu in 2016, which was suspended about 18 months later due to pressure from ultra- Orthodox political parties.