By Ryan Jones
Israeli Jews on Sunday were again denied freedom of religion at Jerusalem's Temple Mount, of all places, when a near-riot by Muslim worshipers resulted in police closing the holy site to all but the followers of Allah.
A Muslim mob became enraged when a small group of visiting Jews began singing songs commemorating the holiday of Hanukkah, an extra-biblical festival very much centered on the Temple Mount.
In the video below, the irate Muslims can be seen violently confronting the Jewish group's police escort, even as at least one man sings holiday songs in Hebrew.
A subsequent scuffle led to the arrest of two Jews and two Muslims.
Last week, Israeli lawmakers demanded that police make the Temple Mount more accessible to Jews over the Hanukkah holiday.
"Just because some Muslims throw stones when Jews go up to the Temple Mount is not a reason to prevent them from going, as happened over Succot," Knesset Members Miri Regev (Likud), chairwoman of the Knesset Interior Committee, told police officials during a committee session.
Regev noted that "special arrangements are made for Muslim prayer [on the Temple Mount] during Ramadan and similar arrangements must be made for Jewish visits on Jewish holidays."
Jews and Christians are only permitted to visit the Temple Mount under severe restrictions. Despite it being the holiest site on earth to Jews and many Christians, they are forbidden from carrying Bibles or praying while inside the compound for fear of "inciting" Muslim violence.
Watch the video of Sunday's confrontation:
- Temple Mount closed after Jews and Muslims clash • Times of Israel
- Clashes break out between Jewish, Muslim worshipers on Temple Mount • Jerusalem Post
- Jerusalem Mayor Acknowledges Upswing in Arab Violence • Arutz Sheva
- The Temples of the Bible (Series) • BPB (Andy Woods)
- Sacred Shrines Become 'Ticking Time Bomb' • Sky News
- Netanyahu heads to Italy to meet with Italian PM, Pope Francis • Israel Hayom
- Today's 'storming' of the Temple Mount • Elder of Ziyon