Arabs Riot on Har HaBayis as Yerushalayim Day Marked

YERUSHALAYIM -
temple mount
View of Har HaBayis. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Arabs on Har HaBayis were rioting Sunday morning, after police decided to allow Jews into the compound Sunday. Rioters threw chairs, tables, stones and books at police, who tried to fend off the rioters without firing shots. Police were eventually able to quell the rioting and clear out areas of the site. Police are now present on Har HaBayis and will remain there to prevent another outbreak of rioting.

The police decision to allow Jews onto the site Sunday was a reversal of its previous position and of policies in years past. Sunday is Yom Yerushalayim, marking the day the Old City and Har HaBayis were liberated from Jordanian occupation in the 1967 Six Day War. On Motzoei Shabbos, thousands gathered at the Kosel, and more events are set for Sunday.

This year, however, the day coincides with the end of Ramadan, and traditionally only Muslims have been allowed on Har HaBayis during that period. It should be noted that there were no Jews on Har HaBayis when the rioting broke out Sunday.

The umbrella group representing Jewish organizations that ascend the mount said that they “were very happy that the schedule of the opening of Har HaBayis to Jews for the first time takes into account events on the Jewish calendar.” Gedolei Yisrael have reiterated numerous times the traditional halachic tenet that ascending Har HaBayis at this time is forbidden for Jews.