Arabs hurled stones at Israeli security forces and shouted nationalist slogans on the Temple Mount on Sunday, hours before Jews began to visit the site to mark the fast day of Tisha B’Av.

Nearly 1,700 Jews visited the Temple Mount during the permitted hours on Sunday, after the violent Arab demonstrators were cleared from the area.

The Temple Mount is the Jewish people’s holiest site. Ticha B’av commemorates the anniversary of the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem.

No incidents were reported during the Jewish visits, which lasted until Sunday afternoon. Prime Minister Bennett thanked the police for handling the matter responsibly and protecting Jews’ freedom of worship.

On Monday, the Prime Minister clarified that there is no change to the status quo, however.

“There is no change in the status quo,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s spokesman Matan Sidi said. “There is continuity from the last government in the [current] government’s policy on the Temple Mount.”

The “status quo” on the Temple Mount refers to allowing non-Muslims to visit, but not to pray, while Muslims can pray in the Aqsa Mosque and in the outdoor spaces around it.

However, small groups of Jews have been quietly praying on the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site, regularly since 2019, with Israel Police ignoring the practice.

Jordan sent an official letter of protest against Israeli “violations” on the Temple Mount on Sunday, including “storming of the holy compound by extremist settlers under Israeli police protection,” Jordanian news agency Petra reported.

Palestinian and other Arab media reports often characterize any Jews visiting the Temple Mount as settlers, and their actions as “storming,” even when labeling videos of people walking in an orderly fashion.

Hamas warned on Friday that Israel was “playing with fire” by allowing Jews to visit the Temple Mount and march in the Old City, as it does most years.

The terrorist group called on Gazans to “keep their fingers on the trigger” to defend Jerusalem.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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