“The LORD tests the righteous and the wicked, And the one who loves violence His soul hates.” (Psalms 11:5)
During prayers on the Temple Mount on Friday, Arabs declared a day of rage, leading to an emergency draft of security personnel. Arabs clashed with police and Border Patrol units by the Damascus Gate after prayers at the mosque, throwing stones and firebombs. Police responded with non-lethal riot control measures.
The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee authorized the IDF to call up an extra 800 Border Patrol reservists in response to escalating violence in Jerusalem on Friday, reinforcing the 5,000 police officers presently deployed in the city. Muslim men under the age of 40 will be prevented from going up to the Temple Mount and Al Aqsa Mosque.
“Border Patrol fighters have a rich and successful history of dealing with hostile and violent activity,” Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Tzachi Hanegbi (Likud) said. “Stationing Border Patrol troops in the capital will help bring back order quickly.”
The Temple Mount has been the focus of violent clashes since Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon outlawed the Murabitun and Murabatat groups who had been paid by the Waqf, the Muslim religious authority, to harass Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount. This led to a period of quiet which exploded over the Jewish New Year holiday, as Muslims clashed with police, who found pipe bombs prepared to attack visitors to the Temple Mount. Muslims rioted, clashing with police, attacking them with stones, fireworks, and firebombs, barricading themselves inside the mosque.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said, “We can see there are calls from extremists to try to incite riots in Jerusalem, and we will be implementing security measures in different areas to prevent any major incidents from taking place.”
On Wednesday, Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said on Palestinian television, “The Al-Aqsa (Mosque) is ours, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is ours, and they (Jews) have no right to defile it with their filthy feet. We will not allow them to, and we will do everything in our power to protect Jerusalem. We bless every drop of blood that has been spilled for Jerusalem, which is clean and pure blood, blood spilled for Allah, Allah willing. Every martyr will reach Paradise, and everyone wounded will be rewarded by Allah,” said Abbas.
Nabil Abu Rudaineh, spokesman for the PA president’s office in Ramallah, said that the “ongoing Israeli onslaught against the occupied city of Jerusalem, especially the Aksa Mosque, was aimed at creating a new and dangerous reality.”
Hamas said that the Israel’s actions were a “declaration of war.”
On Sunday, an Israeli was killed as a result of rocks thrown at his car. Recent days have seen rock and firebomb attacks all over Jerusalem. Two busses were attacked in separate incidents, and one was set on fire. The light rail train was attacked by rocks near Shuafat, and the IDF base on Mount Scopus was attacked by Molotov cocktails, setting off a brush-fire.