Faiths clash at Jerusalem’s sacred site

All hell’s broken loose at the Old City here in Jerusalem the past few days. But you wouldn’t know it … Continued

All hell’s broken loose at the Old City here in Jerusalem the past few days. But you wouldn’t know it if you weren’t right where it had been happening — at the Temple Mount, Jerusalem’s sacred site for Muslims.

MOHAMMED ABED

AFP/GETTY IMAGES

A Palestinian woman takes part in a protest in Gaza City on February 26, 2012, two days following violence in the flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City, between Israeli forces and Palestinians.

Tour buses were still parked outside the Old City on the weekend around Jaffa Gate, near the Jewish and Christian side, with tourists streaming in, despite the fact that hundreds of Muslim worshippers clashed with Israeli police at the Temple Mount Friday after Muslim prayers.

Jerusalem’s .35-square-mile walled Old City, a World Heritage site, is divided into four quarters — the Armenian, Christian, Jewish and Muslim Quarters.

Israeli police said dozens of protesters barricaded themselves inside the Al-Aqsa mosque, which along with the Dome of the Rock sits atop Temple Mount, after throwing rocks at security forces. The police had been trying to stop the protesters from throwing rocks onto the Western Wall plaza below, Judaism’s holiest shrine. Israeli police then used stun grenades to disperse the demonstration in the mosque.

A 25-year-old Palestinian man was killed later Friday by Israeli forces during a demonstration near a military checkpoint between Jerusalem and the West Bank city of Ramallah. The demonstration was a result of the clashes with Israeli police on the Temple Mount.

The protests came at the end of a tense fortnight in the Old City.

Two weeks ago, police barred right-wing activists from Israel’s ruling Likud Party from accessing the Temple Mount. Anti-Israel protests erupted at the Israeli embassy in Amman, Jordan in reaction to the attempt to access the holy site.

An extremist Israeli website called “Temple Mount Faithful” has been encouraging religious Jews to go to the Temple Mount recently to exercise Jewish sovereignty over the religious area. The Web site openly advocates destroying any Muslim buildings there to make way for the rebuilding of the Third Temple. Many Palestinians believe that Jews will not relent in their quest to have the Third Temple built there.

AMMAR AWAD

REUTERS

A Muslim worshipper puts his shoes on (L) as Israeli policemen advance towards Palestinian protesters (unseen) during clashes on the compound known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City February 24, 2012.

On Sunday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called on Arabs and Muslims to visit Jerusalem more to counter what called Israel’s efforts to Judaize the divided city.

Speaking at the International Conference for the Defense of Jerusalem in Doha, Qatar, Abbas accused Israel of “surrounding Jerusalem with an Apartheid wall and a band of settlements in order to isolate the city from its surroundings in the West Bank.“

He urged Muslims and Arabs that visiting “occupied Jerusalem” would remind the Israelis that “Jerusalem is the cause of every Arab, Muslim and Christian.”

Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 Six-Day War. Israeli politicians have consistently insisted that the holy city is the Jewish state’s “undivided capital“ although the international community does not recognize it as such. The Palestinian Authority, in turn, regards East Jerusalem as the capital of any future Palestinian state.

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  • yisraelmedad

    This is quite an extremist op-ed, biased, too.
    a) ” the Temple Mount, Jerusalem’s sacred site for Muslims”. No. The Temple Mount is sacred for Jews, for Muslims it is Haram A-Sharif and they deny any Temple existed or that the site possesses any sanctity. Oh, the Westrern Wall is definitely not “Judaism’s holiest shrine” which is the Temple Mount.
    b) she doesn’t mention the ugly elements in Abbas’ speech in Doha: “The Israeli occupation authorities are using the ugliest and most dangerous means to implement plans to erase and remove the Arab-Islamic and the Christian character of east Jerusalem.” Note: no Jews allowed in his scheme of things.
    c) she notes Jerusalem “captured” in 1967 as if Israel began shelling Jerusalem instead of what happened – Jordan’s Hussein shelled Jewish civilians.
    d) and in 1967, we found over 50% of some 70,000 graves on Mt of Olives desecrated, used as latrine covers and walkways.
    e) she mentions one site that suggests destruction of mosques but ignores years of destruction of archaeological artifacts and the Islamic Movement/North’s campaign to deny Jewish rights including the simple one of pilgrimage and prayer.

    This piece is a travesty of journalistic standards.

  • Kafantaris

    When Palestinian TV is on, it shows Sesame Street.
    When it shows Sesame Street, it shows Bert.
    When it shows Bert, it shows it might be OK to be gay.
    When it shows it might be OK to be gay, the TV censors come out.
    When the TV censors come out, they get friendly with the Palestinians.
    Don’t let your TV censors get friendly with the Palestinians.
    Confiscate Palestinian TV.

  • xexon

    This is not going to end well for any of them. But I’ll give you a little peek into the future.

    Should this mosque be destroyed, you’re going to see the entire Muslim world swarm. Over a billion followers. And even if one 1% of them head towards Israel, that’s 10 million people bent on revenge.

    Needless to say, the Jews in Israel would be slaughtered. So you folks better reign in your government, your military and those troublemaking settlers. Or you’re going to lose everything.

    You’ve got to learn to share this land. Or you will all share in it’s destruction.

    x

  • Kingofkings1

    Hillary Clinton said Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel. Obama said there is no negotiation when it comes to Israel’s demands and he will defend the zionist entity to his last breath (or until the funds from Israel’s supporters run out)