Hundreds of Muslim worshipers attended the early morning prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, which is situated where both Biblical Temples once stood, in response to a call made by the Islamist Hamas organization to flood the ancient complex in defiance of so-called Israeli efforts to “Judaize” the sacred site.
While last week’s prayer service culminated in violent riots, Israeli police launched an operation to mitigate today’s disturbances. As part of police preparations, ten Muslim residents of east Jerusalem – who have a long history of instigating violence – were detained last night, and additional riot-police forces were deployed in and around Temple Mount.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told TV7 that while several people were detained early this morning following the prayer session in light of their apparent efforts to instigate a riot; police personnel have managed to quickly disperse the Islamic worshipers, before the situation could deteriorate into a violent protest.
Separately a Mosque in Jerusalem’s Beit Safafa neighborhood was reportedly set ablaze overnight, in what Israeli police confirmed to TV7 may have been the result of arson. While no injuries were reported, one room sustained damage.
Police Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told TV7 that Hebrew writing was spray-painted on the walls of the structure. He further noted that a police investigation was launched into the incident.