Sunday, October 25, 2009

Jerusalem: Temple Mount riots resume

Efrat Weiss

Nine police officers were lightly injured Sunday stones and Molotov cocktails hurled at forces stationed at the Temple Mount as part of the high state of alert in the area. A female Australian reporter was lightly injured by stones in the Old City.

Forces patrolling the area also noticed oil poured on the floor, apparently in order to cause the officers to slip and make their activity in the area more difficult.

A police force entered the Temple Mount compound in order to catch the stone throwers, using shock grenades.

More than 18 people were arrested on the Mount and in its surroundings, including senior Fatah member Khatem Abdel Kader, who is charge of the Jerusalem portfolio in the Palestinian organization.

Palestinians and members of the Waqf reported that at least eight worshippers were injured, but the police said they were unaware of any injuries.

Abdel Kader was arrested at the Temple Mount plaza after allegedly rioting, assaulting policemen and calling on worshippers to launch a parade. He was taken in for questioning by the Jerusalem Police's minority unit.

Three masked Arab men were arrested in the afternoon hours after hurling stones at the security forces in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras al-Amud. Police also detained Ali Abu Sheikha, No. 3 in the Islamic Movement's northern branch.

Abu Sheikha was arrested on suspicion of rioting and calling on residents to go out and demonstrate. In mid October he was detained on suspicion of inciting Arabs near the Temple Mount during the riots which began on Yom Kippur Eve.

Another incident was recorded when Knesset Member Ahmad Tibi (United Arab List-Ta'al) tried to enter the Temple Mount but was stopped by the police. "This is extremely severe," Tibi said in response. "The police are violating the law. It's not in their authority. The al-Aqsa Mosque is not a closed military zone."

Police Commissioner Dudi Cohen told reporters while visiting the Mount, "I identify many large groups of east Jerusalem Arabs and Israeli Arabs who have arrived here following calls made by the Islamic Movement, whose leaders are here. I call on them to practice restraint and calm and not to incite.

"The Jerusalem Police will act firmly against any rioters on the Temple Mount. The inciters are the same people you know. It's impossible that the Israel Police will have to deal with the Islamic Movement every Sunday, and so we will handle this on the investigative level."

He clarified that the police did not enter the al-Aqsa Mosque and had no plans to do so.

The Jerusalem Police accused elements in the Islamic Movement and Hamas of inflaming the situation after calling on youngsters to riot on the Temple Mount on Saturday.

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Source: YNet

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