BY RYAN JONES, ISRAEL TODAY—
Muslim mobs again hurled stones at Christian tourists and Jewish visitors atop Jerusalem’s Temple Mount on Tuesday following a similar attack earlier in the week.
One police officer who was among those escorting the Christian and Jewish groups was injured, and two Muslim assailants were arrested.
Police were already on high alert for clashes atop the Temple Mount after local Muslim websites posted calls to “protect” the mosques occupying the Temple Mount from Jews who allegedly planned to desecrate them by praying there.
A day earlier, police arrested small group of Jews who they believe did indeed intend to commit the heinous crime of praying atop Judaism’s holiest site.
On Sunday, a mob of some 50 Palestinian Muslims stoned a group of Christians visiting the Temple Mount. Three of the Israeli police officers who acted to protect the Christian group were wounded.
That attack was instigated by the former Muslim mufti of Jerusalem, Ekrama Sabri, who told Palestinian media over the weekend that Jewish groups were planning to break into the mosques that occupy the holy compound and desecrate them.
Muslim religious figures regularly claim that Israel is plotting to destroy the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa Mosque to pave the way for the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple, which the Muslims now insist never previously existed.
Because of the constant threat of Muslim violence, and despite the fact that the Temple Mount is the most holy place on earth to Jews and many Christians, the Israeli police comply with Muslim demands for harsh restrictions on non-Muslim visitors to the site. For instance, Jews and Christians are forbidden to carry Bibles atop the Temple Mount or to utter even silent prayers within its walls. Jews and Christians are regularly detained for violating these conditions.