Arab worshippers on Temple Mount throw rocks at Jewish visitors

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli police arrested at least seven Arab worshippers on the Temple Mount after clashes which included throwing rocks at Jewish visitors to the holy site.

Police made the arrests on Wednesday morning following reports of masked men throwing rocks at Jews visiting the site in advance of Rosh Hashanah.

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As a result of the violence, police prevented several buses of Arab worshippers from making their way to the Temple Mount, believing they intended to incite violence, according to reports.

The violence comes a day after the arrest of Islamic Movement leader Sheikh Raed Salah, who last week called on Muslims to prevent the “dangerous mass invasion into Al Aksa” with their bodies.

The Al Aksa Mosque is situated on the Temple Mount in the place where Jews believe the holy of holies of the First and Second Temples was located.

On a visit to the Temple Mount on Wednesday morning, Israel’s Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel said “The Temple Mount is the holiest place for the Jewish people, and must be open for prayer at every hour to every Jew.”

Ariel, of the Jewish Home Party, said he “plans to continue to go up [to the Mount] and strengthen the State of Israel’s sovereignty in the site.”