Muslim Arabs marked Jerusalem Day on Wednesday by violently attacking Jews throughout the capital’s Old City.
The violence began atop the Temple Mount, where a mob of Arab youth heckled Jewish visitors and hurled stones at Israeli police, injuring one officer.
As more security forces entered the compound, the perpetrators barricaded themselves inside the Al Aqsa Mosque, from where they continued to hurl stones and firecrackers.
Police quickly closed to the holy site to all Jews and Christians for fear of further Muslim violence.
Nearby, another gang of Arab youth attacked Jewish high school students who were visiting from the Golan Heights to celebrate Jerusalem Day. As the group of students passed through the Old City, they were suddenly attacked with stones and tear gas. No serious injuries were reported.
Despite the grave nature of the attacks, a group of rabbis who managed to visit the Temple Mount before it was closed said they were actually heartened by the violence, which demonstrates that Islam fears what the future might hold.
“We believe that the rebuilding of the Temple will be a miracle, and that if we stand up for our rights, G-d will deliver a miracle to us,” Rabbi Chaim Richman of the Temple Institute told Arutz 7. “Seeing the opposition makes us laugh, because it is clear that they are afraid that the Jewish people are returning to the Temple Mount.”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a number of Jerusalem Day speeches insisting that Israel would never again allow the city to be divided.
“Jerusalem is Israel’s eternity, it is our heart, and we are guarding our heart - the heart of the nation. We will never divide our heart,” Netanyahu said during a traditional Jerusalem Day visit to the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva, a bastion of religious Zionism.
The Messianic blog “One for Israel” has a strong article on additional reasons why Jerusalem remains centrally important for local Israeli believers.
This Jerusalem Day marks the 47th anniversary of the reunification of the city in the 1967 Six Day War. For the 19 years prior, the city was divided, and the eastern half illegally occupied by neighboring Jordan.
PHOTO: Israelis celebrate the start of Jerusalem Day, a commemoration of the reunification of their ancient, biblical capital