After the latest Islamic riots on the Har Habayis, Israeli Public Security Minister Yitzchok Aharonovitch warned that further disturbances will prompt Muslims to be prohibited from entering the compound. Muslim violence at the Temple Mount has come to a boil over Jewish visits to the site during Sukkos.
In a policy change since the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, instead of closing the Temple Mount to visitors after Muslim rioting, the Israel Police pushes the rioters back inside the Al-Aqsa mosque and leaves the Temple Mount compound open. But the policy may change again if the current situation persists, Aharonovitch said.
“If the Jews cannot go up to the Mount, the Muslims will not go up to the Mount,” he said.
Aharonovitch’s comments followed another tumultuous morning at the Temple Mount on Monday. Overnight Sunday, dozens of youths-among them members of Hamas and the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel-gathered inside the Al-Aqsa mosque to plan a riot. After learning of the riot plans, the Jerusalem District police entered the Temple Mount compound to surprise the youths, who barricaded themselves behind improvised obstacles and hurled rocks and firecrackers at the officers. Later in the day, police arrested four Arab youths suspected of involvement in the Temple Mount violence.