A Christian tourist carrying an Israeli flag was attacked by Muslim worshippers on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount Tuesday, Israeli police said.
Four East Jerusalem Palestinian men were detained, as was the flag-waver, described as a French man in his 30s.
Agence France-Presse reported that the tourist, who sustained minor injuries to the head, could face charges of disrupting the public order. Israeli regulations prohibit Jews from overtly praying or others from displaying Israeli symbols on the Temple Mount in order to prevent violent responses from Muslims at the site, considered the holiest in Judaism and the third-holiest in Islam.
Video posted online apparently shows police escorting the tourist away. A child can be heard in the background shouting "Allahu akbar."
The incident followed weekend clashes at the site when masked Palestinians threw stones at Israeli police during a protest over the death of an 18-month-old killed in an arson attack on his home in the West Bank.
There were also clashes a week before on the Jewish fast day of Tisha B’Av after Palestinians were caught stockpiling Molotov cocktails, rocks and fireworks that police said they were planning to use on Jewish worshippers visiting the site on their holiday and praying at the adjacent Western Wall.
Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount often face verbal and sometimes physical abuse from Muslims at the site.
Israel’s Shin Bet security services has said that an Islamist group in Israel pays Palestinians salaries to sit on the Temple Mount and harass Jewish tourists.