The Temple Mount in Jerusalem is again at the epicenter of renewed hostilities between Israeli Jews and Palestinian Muslims, fueled by the confluence this year of Ramadan and Passover (and Easter).
A small religious Jewish group made headlines after it offered monetary reward for any Jews willing to attempt to sacrifice a Passover Lamb atop the Temple Mount. Israeli authorities stressed that they simply would not let that happen, but the Muslims nevertheless used the “threat” of Jewish religious ceremony to incite fresh violence.
Palestinian Muslim “worshippers” began to stockpile stones and other crude weapons inside the Al Aqsa Mosque, ostensibly Islam’s third holiest site. Rather than give them a chance to use those weapons against Jewish worshippers at the Western Wall below, Israeli security forces on Saturday and Sunday breached the mosque and clashed with the Muslim rioters.
Hundreds have thus far been wounded on both sides, and the ongoing situation has elicited International condemnation of Israel and threatened to bring down the unity government in Jerusalem.