Five Arab rioters were arrested Monday afternoon after they tried to defy a court order against entering the Sha’ar Harachamim area of Har HaBayis. The five were arrested after they threw rocks and stones at police and attempted to force their way into the restricted area. As a result, extra forces are on alert throughout the Old City and in the area of the Kosel.
Police said that rioters attempted to dismantle an iron chain that was placed on the gate into the Sha’ar Harachamim area, the eastern gate of Har HaBayis. The area was closed several years ago after security personnel discovered that it was being used by radical Islamists to recruit members.
Rioters succeeded in removing the chains last week and conducted activities there on Friday, and on Sunday police chained it up again. The closure of the area was ordered several years ago by courts, because of the use of the area for recruiting terrorists. Police said they would continue to enforce the law on Har HaBayis and everywhere else in Yerushalayim. As of Monday afternoon, they added, Har HaBayis was open for visitors.