Israeli police arrest 5 Palestinians at Temple Mount gate – report – Israel News

Photo of the Gate of Mercy structure from Facebook pages of Muslim worshipers - June 2, 2019

Photo of the Gate of Mercy structure from Facebook pages of Muslim worshipers – June 2, 2019.
(photo credit: REGAVIM)

Israeli police entered the Gate of Mercy (Bab al-Rahma) on the Temple Mount and arrested five young men and removed wooden partitions on Thursday, according to the Palestinian Safa news agency.

The police attempted to prevent people in the Gate of Mercy building from filming the incursion, Palestinian news agency Sawa  reported.

Tensions escalated around the Gate of Mercy building earlier this year, when the state attempted to prevent the Jordanian Waqf from building an illegal mosque in the structure.

The Waqf is the Islamic religious authority that manages the Temple Mount/Al-Aqsa complex.

On Tuesday, the Hamas terrorist organization released an official statement condemning Israeli incursions onto the Temple Mount, saying that Israel was “playing with fire” and would pay a price for their “provocations” at the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

In the statement, Hamas claimed that many “Zionist movements” have called for incursions onto the Temple Mount on Thursday, which the terrorist organizations sees as a “systematic plan to Judaize the Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

Hamas called on the international community to intervene and pressure Israel to stop its “violations against Islamic and Christian holy sites in occupied Palestine.” The terrorist group called on Palestinians to mobilize and defend the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

On Wednesday, the Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates condemned “continued Israeli violations” against the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Jordan News Agency reported. A spokesperson for the ministry, Sufian Qudah, voiced Jordan’s “categorical rejection of these absurd practices and irresponsible provocations” that run counter to Israel’s obligations under international law.

Qudah called on the Israeli authorities to halt visits by Jewish Israelis to the Temple Mount and to respect the sanctity of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the historical and legal situation in Jerusalem.

On February 22, Muslim worshipers entered the Gate of Mercy area, a previously closed zone on the Temple Mount, and Israel arrested a senior Islamic Waqf authority official on February 24 in response.

In February, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed authorities to prevent the opening of a mosque at Mercy Gate, but this was not adhered to and construction continued.

Seth J. Frantzman and Ilanit Chernick contributed to this report.

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