Arabs rioted at Har Habayis on Thursday, Yom Haatzmaut, in response to hundreds of Jews visiting the site for the first time in almost two weeks, after Prime Minister Naftali Bennett banned Jews from visiting the site during Ramadan [to appease the Islamist Ra’am party.]
Dozens of Arabs rioted, throwing stones and other objects at the police. They also screamed at the visitors: “With spirit, with blood, we’ll redeem Al-Aqsa” and “Allahu Akbar.”
Police used riot control methods to disperse the crowd and the Arabs entered the mosque, where as per usual in recent days, they began to riot and hurl objects, desecrating and causing damage to their own mosque.
By 5 p.m. on Thursday almost 1,000 Jews had visited Har HaBayis. The Jews who visited reported that the site has been heavily damaged. The police arrested 20 Arabs and two police officers were lightly injured.
One of the visitors at the site was Yamina MK Yom Tov Kalfon, leading to tensions within the coalition from the Ra’am party. The Shura council is reportedly on the verge of a decision to force the Ra’am party to resign from the coalition over issues regarding Har Habayis.
Over the past two days, Hamas threatened to escalate violence against Israel if Jews resumed visiting Har Habayis. The video below shows Arabs inside the mosque playing a speech by a Hamas leader threatening Israel over Har HaBayis.
Gedolei HaPoskim throughout the ages including Gedolei Hador Shlita today have ruled it is absolutely forbidden to visit Har Habayis, even if one does so in line with Halacha including tevila. This is also the ruling of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. This is an Issur Kares.
Thirteen years ago on Sukkos, then President Shimon Peres paid a visit to the Sukka of the late Posek Hador, Maran HaGaon Rav Elyashiv ZATZAL, where Rav Elyashiv called on the President to prevent Jews from visiting Har Habayis, stating it is an act that that is viewed as extremely provocative by the goyim. Maran stated everything possible must be done to avoid a religious war, and the provocateurs are playing with fire.
Maran is quoted as explaining to the president that Halacha forbids going onto Har Habayis but today, it is more than this, it is an act that may lead to a religious war and bloodshed.
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(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)