Israel marked ‘Jerusalem Day’ yesterday, during which scores of Israelis marched throughout the streets of the capital to celebrate the 52nd anniversary of the city’s reunification.
The celebratory-day commemorates Israel’s overwhelming victory during the 1967 Middle East war, which brought about the liberation of then-Jordanian-held East Jerusalem, which includes the ancient city of David and the Temple Mount.
Despite an earlier decision by police to thwart Jewish entry into the Temple Mount, with the declared intent of avoiding friction with Muslim worshipers commemorating the last days of Ramadan; Jewish visitors were ultimately granted entry into the ancient compound – the location where both biblical Temples once stood.
Police Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told TV7 that while disturbances transpired during the early hours of Sunday morning, which were immediately dealt with by anti-riot police forces at the scene; “throughout the visiting hours, between 8 and 11 AM, no extraordinary events were recorded.”
It is important to note that while non-Muslims – including Jews and Christians – are only allowed to visit the ancient compound, the growing number of visitors has angered Muslim authorities – who warn that any infringement of the status-quo will bring about a religious war.
According to the Director of the Jordanian-funded Islamic Waqf Council, the growing number of Jews visiting the site – even though they are barred from any form of worship – is viewed as an “unprecedented aggression” against Islam. “Israel wants it to be a religious war and this will bring about destruction, and Israel is responsible for the results of this aggression. As I said it is unprecedented aggression against the worshipers and against Muslims at Al-Aqsa Mosque,” Abdel-Azeem Salhab said.