Five Jews arrested after altercation near Temple Mount


(JTA) — Israeli police arrested five Jewish men after clashing with police and local residents of Jerusalem’s Old City.

Israeli police said the men arrived at one of the entrances to the Temple Mount in order to pray and got into a fight with local residents, the Times of Israel reported. After police arrived, the men refused requests to leave the area and scuffled with the authorities.

Jews are barred from praying on the Temple Mount, which is known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, prompting some Jews to pray at entrances to the site, the Times of Israel reported. Police said that some 1,800 people have visited the site since Monday, the beginning of the Passover holiday when it’s traditional for Jews to make pilgrimages to Jerusalem.

Earlier this week, Israeli police arrested 17 people — including several minors — for allegedly attempting to smuggle baby goats on to the Temple Mount in an effort to reenact the ancient Passover sacrifice. Six goats were rescued and handed over to Israel’s Agriculture Ministry, Haaretz reported.