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Arab rioting spurs third Passover closing of Temple Mount

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Temple Mount was closed to visitors for a third day during the Passover holiday after Israeli police were attacked by Arab worshippers throwing rocks.

Sunday’s closure came as Christian worshippers and visitors marking Easter filled the Old City of Jerusalem.

Some 16 Arab rioters were arrested for throwing rocks and concrete blocks at police on the holy site, which had opened briefly to tourists on Sunday morning. Two Border Police officers were injured in the clashes.

Following the closure, Israeli police also restricted Muslim worshippers on the site, only allowing those with Israeli identification cards over the age of 50 to visit.

Five Arabs were arrested Saturday night as they attempted to gain access to the Temple Mount by climbing up its eastern side. They were discovered to be carrying tear gas.

The site was closed last week on Wednesday and Thursday due to Palestinian rioting. It had been shut down the previous Sunday in advance of Passover due to clashes between young Arabs and police.

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