Temple Mount visits halted due to violence


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Palestinian demonstrators protested near the Temple Mount after Israel Police limited worshippers’ access due to fears of violence amid growing tensions.

Jewish visitors were permitted to ascend the Temple Mount on Wednesday morning, but the visits were halted by noon after the protests became violent. Arab-Israeli leaders including Hanin Zoabi, Jamal Zahalka and Basel Ghattas of the Balad party joined the protests.

Wednesday is Hoshanah Rabbah, the last day of Sukkot, and a day when many Jewish pilgrims visit the holy site.

The Temple Mount visits on Wednesday morning were restricted to Palestinian men over 50 years old and women, though the Palestinian Maan news agency reported that women also were denied entry.

Israel Police reportedly said they had received “information on young Arabs intending to cause disturbances to public order at the end of prayers.”

On Monday, Israeli forces quelled riots on the Temple Mount by pushing the protesters into the Al-Aksa Mosque and locking the  door. Jews were allowed to visit the Temple Mount on Monday for the first time during the Sukkot holiday.

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