Israel Police arrested close to 15 Jews this morning for trying to pray on the Temple Mount, while hundreds of Moslems under the permitted age snuck onto the holy site over the night.
The police announced last week that they would not allow the Revava organization to implement its plans to bring 10,000 Jews to the Temple Mount today. Taking no chances, the police closed the site to all Jews today. Revavah spokesmen said, however, that they would not give up their plans to try to reach Judaism’s holy site on this, the first day of the month of Nissan.
The police justified the decision to close the holy site to Jews by citing the Arab threats of violence if Jews are permitted on the Mount. Vague fears of a “plot” to destroy the Mosque of Omar and the like were also noted. Revavah leaders ridiculed these explanations, saying that every visitor is thoroughly checked, and that individual suspects could be barred from entry. They further said that the police “caved in” to the Arab threats, instead of dealing with them.
Some 3,000 policemen are stationed in and around the Temple Mount in an effort to contain feared flare-ups.
The police are allowing Moslems onto the Temple Mount, but only those over age 40 with Israeli ID cards. The Jews asked for the same restrictions, but were turned down. Police held up busloads of Arabs this morning outside Lions Gate, and did not let them enter.
Hundreds of Moslems under the permitted age snuck onto the holy site over the night – as did at least one non-Israeli-Arab this morning: The chief of the Hamas terrorist organization in Judea/Samaria, Sheikh Hassan Yusuf. In interviews with Arab television stations from the holy area, Yusuf said that Hamas is committed to retaining quiet, and that he arrived to calm the heated atmosphere but he also called upon all Moslems to “come to save the Temple Mount from the Jews.”
David Ha’Ivri, leader of Revavah, was arrested this morning by police shortly after he entered the Old City this morning. He was accompanied by some 20 Revavah members, who were told to leave the area.
Like all things lately where up is down and down is up, Hamas terrorist leader Hassan Yousef was among the Islamic worshippers permitted onto the Temple Mount this morning. He is a leading figure in the terror organization in Gaza.
Confirming the report, Public Security Minister Gideon Ezra explained that Yousef, who is over 40, managed to sneak by security personnel this morning.
Yousef used the opportunity to grant an interview to el-Jazeera satellite news and called on Muslims to save al-Aqsa from danger.