Mass Attendance at Temple Mount for Eid Al-Adha Celebrations
A crowd estimated to be as large as 100,000 people flooded Jerusalem’s Temple Mount – known to the Muslim world as Haram Al-Sharif – to celebrate the Eid al-Adha festival on Tuesday evening. The four-day holiday commemorates the test of the Prophet Ibrahim’s faith by preparing to sacrifice his son, Ishmael, before Allah spares the boy and provides a “great sacrifice” instead. The scene on the Temple Mount stood in sharp contrast to that of Sunday, when a much smaller number of Jews visited the area on the ninth day of the Hebrew month Av, the historical date of the destruction of the First and Second Temples by the Babylonians and Romans, respectively. At that time, the Islamist Ra’am party, the first Arab political party to join a ruling coalition government, called for a complete ban on Jews visiting the area, saying the Temple Mount is the exclusive property of the Muslim world. Politics were rife on Tuesday night as banners flew expressing support for the Hamas terror organization in the aftermath of the recent 11-day rocket war: Nearly 5,000 missiles were fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip, prompting devastating airstrikes from the Israeli Air Force in retaliation. Some 256 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and 13 civilians in Israel were killed in the fighting.