Palestinian protesters clashed with Israeli police on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount Sunday after a police raid to break up what they described as a plot to attack Jewish visitors on the eve of the Jewish new year Rosh Hashana — one of the two holiest dates on the Jewish calendar.
Israeli police said Palestinians who planned the attack barricaded themselves Saturday night at the Al Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount, armed with rocks, firecrackers and pipe bombs.
In order to block the doors so that police could not close them inside, the Palestinians had also collected shoe racks, steel bars, ropes large umbrellas, and nets, Israel’s Ynet News reported.
As the police arrived on the scene, Palestinians yelling "Allahu akbar" threw rocks and firecrackers, as seen in video taken at the Temple Mount — considered the holiest in the Jewish faith and third-holiest in Islam. Police responded with stun grenades and tear gas.
Israeli police said the Palestinians aimed to disrupt the Jewish holiday which begins Sunday night.
Another video that emerged Sunday appeared to show a Jewish man being mercilessly tripped and attacked by Palestinians in Jerusalem’s Old City.
MUST WATCH: Arabs attack Jewish man with Talit & Tfilin this morning in the old city of Jerusalem near Western Wall. pic.twitter.com/YTrSC9neXQ— Israel News Feed (@IsraelHatzolah)September 13, 2015
"We are investing significant resources to allow the freedom of worship for all religions in Jerusalem,” Jerusalem's district police commander, Major-General Moshe Edri, said.
Despite the Israeli assertion that Palestinians had planned the ambush of worshipers and tourists at the site, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in a statement that he "strongly condemns the Israeli attack" against the Al Aqsa mosque.
"The presidency strongly condemns the attack by the occupier's army and police against the Al Aqsa mosque and the aggression against the faithful who were there," read the statement released by Abbas’ office.
Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan condemned the “Muslim rioters who turned the site into a war zone.”
Israel police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that vistis to the Temple Mount continued later “with no further incidents.”