A group of ultra-Orthodox children, accompanied by a number of adults and two policemen, were harassed by Muslim worshipers on the Temple Mount on Thursday.Jordan should not be allowed to dictate any Israeli policy regarding the Temple Mount. This was a very clear show of hatred by the Muslims, yet also a very pathetic demonstration of security by the police, who owe an apology to the group for failing to offer adequate protection.
The group, comprised of 20 children and 30 adults, visited the Temple Mount, the compound in which the al-Aqsa Mosque is situated, during the visiting hours allotted to non-Muslim visitors, including Jews.
Some of the children were infants. Israeli security forces instructed the adults in the group to take the children inside first. Only four adults were allowed to accompany them.
As soon as they walked up the stairs leading into the compound, the children and adults were heckled by a mob of Muslim men and veiled women. The Muslim worshipers shouted at the group and threw a shoe towards the children, according to Yisrael Fertig, one of the adults accompanying the group.
In footage taken by Fertig during the incident, Muslim worshipers can be seen shouting angrily, gesturing and attempting to reach the ultra-Orthodox group while the children cower and cry in fear, with only Israeli border policemen standing between the two groups and preventing a further escalation. The group was then escorted by security forces out of the compound.
In an interview with the Walla news site Thursday, Fertig said the group, which had come to the Old City from Bnei Brak and ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods in Jerusalem on an organized tour funded by the Haliba organization, had done nothing to provoke the worshipers.
He also called on Israeli security forces to respond more forcefully to threats to the security of civilians at the site, without fearing Jordan’s reaction.
Update: here's a writer for INN who says poor policing policy is what fuels violence on the Temple Mount.