Muslims riot atop Jerusalem's Temple Mount, 3 Israelis hurt

Sunday, October 25, 2009 |  Israel Today Staff

Palestinian Arab Muslims on Sunday repeated attacked Israeli visitors and police officers atop Jerusalem's Temple Mount, resulting in a number of injuries and numerous arrests.

The violence began when police escorted a small group of Jewish tourists to the Temple Mount early Sunday morning. While there, the group was verbally assaulted, and caught on camera preparations by hundreds of young Arabs to launch attacks on Jews visiting the Western Wall below.

Shortly after, Israeli riot police stormed the Temple Mount and were assaulted by stones and firebombs. The officers managed to disperse the rioters and remove the piles of stones and cans of oil and gasoline they had stockpiled.

But while visiting with Muslim officials later in the day in an effort to prevent any further violence, the Israeli officers were again assaulted, resulting in the injury of at least three of the policemen.

Israeli riot police again stormed the facility and forcibly ejected the Arab troublemakers. Among the 15 rioters arrested by police was Hatam Abdel Khader, chief advisor on Jerusalem affairs to "moderate" Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.

Sporadic instances of stone throwing continued into the afternoon in various Arab-dominated portions of Jerusalem's Old City.

Israeli authorities said they were not surprised by the violence after Hamas spent the entire weekend warning all Arab Muslims in the area of what it called another attempt by "Zionists" to desecrate the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism.

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