Two people – a policeman and a young Jewish man — were hurt Monday morning as clashes resumed at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem for the second consecutive day. Nine people were also arrested.
Five people were detained on the Mount after masked Muslim protesters attacked police with stones and metal rods, wounding the policeman, Israel’s Channel 2 television reported. The policeman was treated at the site.
In a separate incident, protesters attacked the Jewish man at the Chain Gate, at the entrance to the Temple Mount. The man also received medical attention at the scene, Channel 2 said. Two people were arrested. Another two were detained after trying to attack police forces.
Police said Monday morning that, “As the police entered the compound masked youths fled inside the mosque and threw stones at the force.” Masked protesters also attacked police metal bars before fleeing into the mosque, Army Radio said.
Police said they entered the hilltop compound to ensure that Muslim youths massing there did not harass Jews or tourists during the morning visiting hours. The site is sacred to both Jews and Muslims.
The Monday clashes follow a day of violence at the site Sunday, with security forces seizing pipe bombs 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.
Police said Monday that visits to the site went ahead as planned. Non-Muslims are allowed to visit the compound, but Jews are forbidden from praying there.
Police chief Bentzi Sau vowed Sunday that protesters would not be allowed to threaten security of visitors to the site, while Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan warned that access to the site could be affected by the discovery of the pipe bombs.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet Tuesday evening with senior political and defense officials to discuss Israel’s response to the outbreak of violence.