TEL AVIV — Members of the Waqf, the Islamic custodians of the Temple Mount, protested new security measures put into place by Israel on Sunday to screen visitors to the sensitive spot that is considered Judaism’s holiest site.
Waqf activists called on Muslim worshippers not to ascend the Mount, and there were reports of sporadic outburst of scuffles between Israeli security forces and Muslims protesting outside major entrances to the Temple Mount. The Al Aqsa Mosque, considered a holy in Islam, is located on the Mount.
The Waqf-led protesters seemed not to recognize that Israel’s new security measures, which include metal detectors and added screening, were put into place in direct response to the murderous Palestinian terrorist attack at the Mount last Friday.
Waqf activists also seemingly failed to note that three of their own officials were reportedly detained in Israeli police raids over the weekend under suspicion that they aided the terrorist attack. Israel is still investigating how weapons utilized by the terrorists were smuggled onto the Mount.
The Jerusalem Post reported on Sunday’s protests:
Shortly after Israeli authorities re-opened the Temple Mount for prayer services, members of the Jerusalem Islamic Wakf…protested the new security measures and called on Muslim worshipers to avoid entering the compound. The Muslim leaders added that the Waqf personnel would not return to the mosques for the time being.
…Outside the Gate of the Tribes, some 200 people gathered in protest of the situation.
Some protesters called on Jordan’s King Abdullah and the rest of the Muslim world to interfere and revert the security situation to its status before the attack. Others were heard shouting at police: “Disgrace, enough with that, you are suffocating us! Al-Aksa belongs to Muslims!”
The Times of Israel reported on the scuffles:
Dozens of Muslim men physically blocked worshipers at Lions’ Gate from approaching the newly installed security measures.
Several small scuffles broke out. Footage screened on Channel 2 news showed police and soldiers forcibly detaining protesters, including some security personnel who appeared to throw protesters to the ground, and punching and kicking them as they were detaining them.
Palestinians said 10 people were injured in the confrontations and a mosque preacher detained, Israel radio reported. Police said some of the protesters had begun throwing stones at the forces.
The Palestinians have a history of using the Temple Mount to fuel violence against Israel. Riots broke out on the Mount in October 1990, ushering in the First Intifada, and the Second Intifada kicked off in September 2000 after the Palestinians used a visit to the Temple Mount by Ariel Sharon as a pretense to launch an orchestrated terrorist campaign after bolting U.S.-brokered talks aimed at creating a Palestinian state.
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.