JERUSALEM (JTA) – Muslim worshippers became violent on the Temple Mount on Tuesday, after two male Jewish visitors bowed down in prayer, a violation of the visiting rules.
The two Jewish men were attacked as they prostrated themselves by Muslim worshippers, who clashed with police attempting to protect the visitors. Police then ejected them from the site.
Jewish prayer is forbidden at the site, which is holy to both Jews and Muslims. The Temple Mount is administered by Jordan’s Muslim Wakf.
At least eight Jewish visitors were removed from the Temple Mount on Tuesday for allegedly attempting to pray. Jewish visitors also were removed on Sunday and Monday for the same offence.
Jordan condemned the increase in Jewish visitors to the site, many who are tourists who came to Israel for the Passover holiday. Over the intermediate days of Passover there are expanded visiting hours for Jews at the Temple Mount, while Muslim worshippers are prevented from ascending to the Mount during certain hours.
Jordanian Media Affairs Minister Mohammad al-Momani on Monday released a statement accusing “Israeli settlers and police” of storming the “Al-Aksa Mosque.” He called Israel’s actions at the site “a violation of international laws and conventions” and said it could lead to “serious consequences.” The Prime Ministers’ Office responded to the threats, saying: “there is absolutely no basis to these claims,” and that “Israel is behaving responsibly, and Jordan knows that.”
Additional security forces have been put on patrol in the Old City of Jerusalem, due to increased tensions at the Temple Mount, and throughout the city.