JERUSALEM (JTA) — Five Palestinians were arrested during clashes with police over an area of the Temple Mount that has been closed off for 15 years.
Police closed and locked the Golden Gate, or the Gate of Mercy, the only eastern gate to the Temple Mount, on Thursday after worshippers gathered in the Bab al-Rahma structure that has been closed since 2003 because police determined that the Islamic heritage organization that had operated out of the building was associated with Hamas.
On Monday morning, dozens of worshippers attempted to force their way through the gate, leading to clashes with police.
Visits to the Temple Mount were allowed to continue, however.
Jordan’s foreign ministry challenged Israel over the closure of the site calling it a “flagrant violation of the historical and legal status quo and Israel’s obligation under the international law and humanitarian law.”
The Waqf, which oversees Islamic holy sites including the Temple Mount site, has called for the area to be reopened, since the offending heritage association has been closed for so long. Police are against reopening the site, according to Haaretz.
A senior Waqf official told The Jerusalem Post that if the site continues to remain closed it could spark protests in Jerusalem similar to those that broke out after metal detectors and security cameras were placed at an entrance for Muslim worshippers to the Temple Mount in 2017. Israel eventually removed the security devices.