September 20, 2018

Abbas’ Fatah party calls for ‘day of rage’ following Temple Mount clashes

The party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called for a “day of rage” in eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank to protest new security measures at the Temple Mount.

The call on Tuesday by Fatah for a day of rage on Wednesday followed a night in which Muslims protesting the installation of metal detectors on the Temple Mount clashed with Israeli security forces. About 50 Muslim protesters and one Israeli officer were hurt in the violent protests in eastern Jerusalem.

Tanzim, the armed faction of Fatah, also announced that Friday prayers will be held in the centers of Palestinian cities and that the sermons be dedicated to the Al-Aqsa mosque and against the new security measures, Ynet reported.

Muslim worshippers and the Muslim Waqf, which administers the site, have boycotted the Temple Mount over the new security measures.

Two of the nine entrances to the site holy to both Muslims and Jews were reopened at about noon Sunday, two days after three Arab-Israeli visitors there opened fire on Israel Police guarding the area, killing two Druze-Arab Israel Police officers.

On Monday, the Temple Mount was opened to Jewish visitors without the scrutiny of the Waqf guards, who usually watch to make sure Jewish visitors do not pray or perform any religious rituals at the site. Reports on social media said that some of the visitors prayed and one group recited the mourner’s prayer at the site where the officers were killed.

A report Tuesday on the London-based Arabic news site Elaph said King Salman of Saudi Arabia passed a message to Israel through Washington calling for the opening of the Temple Mount to worshippers. The story cited an unnamed senior source but did not say from where.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded by saying that Israel had no intention of changing the status quo at the site, which prevents Jews from praying there and which the Waqf says has been altered by the presence of metal detectors. The report also said Netanyahu invited Saudi officials to come visit the site themselves but has received no response.