When hundreds of Jewish pilgrims went to the Al-Aqsa Mosque to celebrate religious holidays, the Israeli police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at the worshipers of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Tensions and Jews made a pilgrimage to the highly sensitive mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem on Sunday, the third holiest site in Islam, also known as the Temple Mount by the Jews, and was condemned by the Palestinians.
Israeli right-wing nationalist Prime Minister Naftali Bennett supports the state’s decision to allow Jews to visit the site.
According to the Israeli police, in the early hours of the morning, Palestinians “young people began to throw stones at the police force in Temple Mount Square, and the police force dispersed them.”
There are no official reports of arrests or injuries.
The European Union mission in the Palestinian territories stated in a tweet that it was “concerned about the ongoing tensions” and urged against “incitement”.
It also called for respect for the status quo of the site and urged Israeli, religious and community leaders to urgently “quell this explosive situation.”
The incident took place on the Jewish festival of Tisha B’av, which marked a day thousands of years ago. According to tradition, two Jewish temples on the Temple Mount were destroyed.
The holy place is located in East Jerusalem. Israel occupied and annexed the holy place in 1967, but it is managed by the Muslim Waqf organization, which allows limited access for Jews.
A spokesperson for a Jewish group encouraging such visits told AFP that 1,679 pilgrims were in the mosque compound on Sunday morning and afternoon.
Waqf stated in a statement published on the official Palestinian website Wafa that Waqf condemned “violations and attacks” carried out by Jewish fanatic groups under the support and political cover of the Israeli government, claiming that Israel “intended to start a religious war”.
The Palestinian Authority accused Israel of allowing pilgrims to “invade”, thereby “undermining the security and stability of the region.”
The newly sworn-in Prime Minister Bennett is from the religious right in Israel, but leads a coalition that includes a left-wing coalition and a political party made up of Israeli Palestinian citizens. He said he “instructed Jews to continue to visit the Temple Mount in an organized and safe manner. , While maintaining order on the scene”.
In the second statement following the condemnation of Waqf and PA, Bennett emphasized that “the freedom of worship on the Temple Mount will also be fully reserved for Muslims” and pointed out the upcoming Eid al-Adha.
Two years ago, when Jewish and Muslim holidays coincided, the violence at the scene injured dozens of Palestinians and resulted in the arrest of 7 people.