Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir accused the “Zionist enemy” of trying to “seize” the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, after Israeli police officers clashed with masked Muslim rock-throwers on the Temple Mount.
The officers entered the site on Sunday morning, after intelligence information gathered by security forces revealed a plan for an organized riot on the Temple Mount, with protesters stockpiling rocks and firecrackers as well as a barricade at an entrance to the mosque, police said. Police said that pipe bombs were also found at the entrance to the the mosque.
Jubeir said movement will be made “at all levels to confront any act of aggression carried out by the Israeli occupation or the Israeli settlers against Al-Aqsa Mosque,” the Saudi Press Agency said.
Palestinian witnesses said police entered the golden-domed mosque, but police said they only closed the doors to the mosque to block in rioters throwing stones, fireworks and other objects.
“A discussion was conducted on the Palestinian issue and what is happening at the al-Aqsa Mosque, and how to deal with these aggressive moves by the Zionist enemy in an attempt to seize the mosque, as well as how to intensify the efforts of the Arab and Muslim countries to condemn these Israeli actions and confront them on all tracks, in accordance with the request of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and with unanimous approval of the Arab countries,” Jubeir said in a statement Sunday, after a meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo.
“We will begin to move on this front to deal with any act of aggression by Israel or Israeli settlers against Al-Aqsa Mosque,” he added.
Israel captured Jerusalem’s Old City, including the Temple Mount, in the 1967 war, and extended its sovereignty to the area in a move not accepted by the international community. The Temple Mount, site of the two biblical temples, is the holiest place in Judaism and al-Aqsa mosque there is the third holiest in Islam.
According to police, the demonstrators aimed to upset the movements of Jewish visitors in the compound ahead of the Rosh Hashanah holiday, which marks the Jewish new year and began Sunday evening. Clashes continued Monday, resulting in nine arrests. Two Israelis — a policeman and a young Jewish worshiper — were lightly wounded in the clashes.
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan warned in that in light of the violence at the Temple Mount, Israel would review measures at the flashpoint site that is holy to both Jew and Muslims. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu summoned an emergency meeting for Tuesday evening regarding escalating Jerusalem violence.