Palestinians Riot Near Kosel

YERUSHALAYIM -

Hundreds of Palestinian rioters threw rocks and firebombs at mispallelim and Israeli police near the Kosel plaza on Friday.

Nine Israeli policeman and five rioters were lightly injured.

The incident occurred following Friday Muslim prayers, which have often triggered violence.

The Palestinians massed at Har Habayis and threw rocks in the direction of the Mugrabi Bridge and the Kosel plaza.

Police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said police dispersed the crowd with stun grenades. He said several officers were slightly injured by masked Palestinians who threw rocks and two firebombs, but police did not enter the mosque.

Four men were arrested and additional arrests were expected.

Rav of the Kosel Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz deplored the behavior of the Muslim worshippers, saying that the desecration of the holy place was made even worse because of the backing of religious figures.

“It’s unheard of that a holy site should be desecrated by those who themselves revere it,” Rabbi Rabinowitz said.

He also praised the police action protecting the Jewish worshippers, who remained at the Kosel throughout.