JERUSALEM (JTA) — Hundreds of Palestinian youth rioted on the Temple Mount in protest of a visit by Israeli lawmaker Moshe Feiglin and a group of supporters.
Two Palestinians were arrested for throwing rocks, and police protecting Feiglin and his entourage ordered them to leave the site, which is holy to Jews and Muslims.
“If there is a reason for the Temple Mount to be a powder keg, it is because it has been proven that violence pays off,” Feiglin said in a statement that was posted on Facebook. “Weakness invites more violence.
“By cutting the visit short and extracting the Jewish visitors from the Temple Mount while leaving the Muslim rioters, the violent party prevailed, which invites the continuation of violence and its escalation.”
Feiglin, of the Likud party, had made monthly visits to the Temple Mount before being prevented by police about a year ago due to fears of Muslim violence.
Jews generally are not permitted by the Wakf, the Muslim religious administration charged with overseeing the Temple Mount site, to pray or bring any ritual objects there.
Feiglin initiated a Knesset debate last month on applying Israeli sovereignty over the Temple Mount and allowing Jews to pray there. Palestinian youth rioted in protest of the session.
Israel Police detained Feiglin in January 2013 for praying on the Temple Mount, as well as three months earlier. In December 2012 he led a minyan at the site that was caught on video and widely distributed.