Temple Mount closed to Jewish visitors

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Jerusalem Police closed the Temple Mount to Jewish visitors based on intelligence that Palestinians planned to cause disturbances there.

Tuesday’s closure, during the festival of Sukkot when tens of thousands of Israeli and Diaspora Jews visit Jerusalem, came after police received the  information about the potential unrest, according to reports.

Thousands already have visited the site during the weeklong holiday. Jews are not permitted to pray there. The site has limited visiting hours.

Last week at the start of the holiday, two Israeli police officers were injured at the site when dozens of Arab youths threw rocks at police and visitors. The Islamic Movement in Israel has called on its supporters to riot at the Temple Mount.

The closure forced the cancellation of a visit by hundreds of Jewish children and teens as part of an annual educational event sponsored by the Women for the Holy Temple Organization. The visit had been coordinated with police.

Knesset member Shuli Muallem of the Jewish Home party also had coordinated a visit for Tuesday.

On Monday, Temple Mount activist Michael Fuah was arrested for performing a Sukkot ritual — shaking a lulav and etrog — at the site.

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