Muslims Launch Fireworks at Police on Temple Mount

Wednesday, December 04, 2013 |  Ryan Jones

A group of Arab Muslim youth on Wednesday launched fireworks at Israeli police officers from inside the Al Aqsa Mosque that occupies the southern end of Jerusalem's Temple Mount.

Israeli authorities immediately closed the holy site to all visitors following the incident.

The Muslims today consider the Al Aqsa Mosque to be the third holiest site in Islam, despite the location never being mentioned in the Koran.

In other violence, three Palestinian Arab men hijacked a Jewish-owned car on Tuesday while a three-month-old baby was still in the back seat.

The child's mother told Israeli media that she was driving home just north of Jerusalem around mid-afternoon when the attack occurred.

"All of sudden a vehicle got close to me, so I sped up. But then I felt a blow in the back, and I immediately stopped and got out of the car to see what happened," she told Israel's Ynet news portal.

Stopping to check the damage turned out to be a mistake, as one of the Arab men immediately jumped in her car and sped away. Fortunately, a passerby let the distraught mother use his phone to call for help.

After receiving his wife's frantic call, the child's father, a former army commando, set off with a neighbor to find the little girl.

Both armed, the two Israeli men entered a hostile Palestinian village on the outskirts of Ramallah. "I wasn't scared," the man said. "I was only thinking about one thing – my daughter's life was hanging in the balance."

Fortunately, it appeared that the carjackers were surprised by the presence of the baby, and fearful of the consequences, so abandoned the vehicle near the entrance to the village. By the time the father arrived, a small crowed had gathered around the car, but no one had disturbed the sleeping child.

Shortly after, Israeli security forces entered the village and apprehended three suspects, who were later identified by the wife.

The father told Ynet that while the overall level of violence might appear low to outsiders, "we live in fear and there is a silent intifada going on here."

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