Starting this past Sunday morning, Israel seized a cache of pipe bombs at the Temple Mount that Muslims were going to use as they rioted over the Jewish New Year:
TIMES OF ISRAEL – The round of violence began Sunday morning, with security forces seizing pipe bombs at the flashpoint site — holy to Jews and Muslims — in an operation carried out hours before Jews prepared to celebrate the new year. The Shin Bet security service alerted police to the cache, apparently an effort by Palestinians to stock up on bombs, flares and rocks ahead of an organized riot.
Since then there have been clashes between Muslims and the Israeli police every day at the Temple Mount as Israel has tried to make it safe for Jews to enter. Muslims have been throwing rocks at the only gate used by non-Muslims to prevent them from entering:
Dozens of Muslim protesters clashed with Israeli security forces at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem for a third consecutive day on Tuesday.
Young protesters gathered around the mosque threw stones at police who had entered the compound in large numbers and who responded with stun grenades, AFP reported. The protesters also hurled fireworks and blocks at police, Israel’s Ynet website said.
The protesters, who had apparently gathered at the site overnight, had prepared barricades to prevent one of the doors of the mosque from being closed by police, Ynet reported. When the Mount opened on Tuesday morning, they began throwing stones at the Mughrabi Gate, which grants access to the site from the Western Wall plaza below and is the only gate that can be used by non-Muslims, and continued to do so until police arrived.
The police moved in to the site in order to ensure that visits to the Temple Mount could go ahead as planned, Israel’s Walla website reported. The police managed to close the barricaded door to the mosque, leaving the protesters inside and said that visits to the site were able to resume.
Of course, we now have Hamas threatening war over Israel’s actions on the Temple Mount:
Israeli actions on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem are tantamount to a “declaration of war,” a senior official from the Islamist Hamas organization said Tuesday, as Israeli police and Muslim protesters clashed at the al-Aqsa Mosque for the third consecutive day.
“The Israeli escalation on the Temple Mount is a declaration of war,” said Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri, according to Israel’s Walla website. He called on the international community to rein in Israel “before the situation explodes.”
Erdogan is also calling on the U.N. to take action against Israel:
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has urged the United Nations to act against Israel’s “breach” of the sanctity of the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, a Turkish source said Tuesday night, according to the Turkish Hurriyet news website.
Erdogan told UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during a phone conversation that Israel’s actions were “unacceptable” and a cause for “serious indignation” in the Muslim world, the source said.
Erdogan also demanded world pressure on Israel over the establishment of an Palestinian state based on the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
It’s amazing that Israel, trying to keep the Temple Mount visitors safe from rioting Muslims, would be a cause for “serious indignation” in the Muslim world. Such peaceful Muslims!
I should also point out that I believe this is the first time Erdogan has criticized Israel since before the elections in March.
Erdogan has, however, given a speech in May about invading Jerusalem, calling on Muslims to pray that ‘Allah to restore the Al-Aqsa Mosque [Jerusalem] to be re-owned by Muslims’.
The Obama administration has once again refused to take the side of Israel, giving another mealy-mouthed statement yesterday that all sides should show restraint or something:
The US has condemned “all acts of violence” at the site, expressing “deep concern” Monday, and calling on all sides to “exercise restraint, refrain from provocative actions and rhetoric and preserve unchanged the historic status quo.”
Pathetic. But then what do we expect from a president who hates Israel?