Seven Muslims arrested, 61 injured amid tensions at Temple Mount

Israeli police deployed tear gas and riot control weapons against Muslim worshipers at the Jerusalem Holy site of Temple Mount on Sunday.

Seven people were arrested and 61 people were injured in clashes as police used tear gas and rubber bullets on Muslim worshipers at Temple Mount on Sunday. Photo by Abir Sultan

The Palestinian Red Crescent said 61 Muslims were injured and police said at least four officers injured at the site as worshipers from both religious gathered to observe the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha and the Jewish fast day of Tisha B’Av. Seven people were arrested.

Officials initially barred non-Muslims from entering Temple Mount, but allowed a group of about 150 Jewish worshipers to enter after a subsequent security assessment.

Police said Muslim worshipers began to riot, including throwing chairs and other objects at the Jewish visitors who entered with a police escort, and officers responded by firing tear gas and rubber bullets to “break up the rioters in order to restore public order.”

Later Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he made the decision to allow Jewish worshipers to enter Temple Mount.

“The question wasn’t whether they’ll be allowed or not, but how to handle it the best way possible.

A representative for Jordan’s foreign ministry condemned the police action as “blunt” violations of the Muslim worshipers’ celebration.

“Jordan harshly rejects Israel’s conduct, which only inflames rage and frustration and its provocations of worshipers on the first day of the Feast of Sacrifice,” the ministry said.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi also called on the international community to “hold Israel accountable and pressure it to cease its violations.”

ByDaniel Uria