Jerusalem police clashed with hundreds of Muslim youth Friday after they stormed out of prayers atop the Temple Mount in the direction of the Damascus Gate. Police said the rioters were on their way to the US consulate, presumably to protest against a film denigrating the Prophet Mohammad, which has already sparked mass protests in Libya, Egypt and Yemen, resulting in the deaths of four Americans.It's good if the police here were prepared for what could happen. However, their failure to place an age restriction at the Temple Mount was definitely ill-advised.
The youths threw stones at the police officers, who responded by firing stun grenades to disperse the rioters.
A number of officers were lightly injured from smoke inhalation. Forces arrested four of the rioters.
Police were prepared for the possibility of riots in Jerusalem, as Border Police and other patrol units fanned out across the Old City ahead of traditional Friday prayers.
Despite an awareness of potential violence, police did not announced restricted access to the Temple Mount. Often if serious rioting is anticipated only men over age 40 are allowed to enter.
In a rare move, the US State Department on Thursday issued a travel warning for Jerusalem, urging American citizens to “defer nonessential travel and exercise caution.”
Also Thursday, around 50 activists gathered outside the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, chanting “God is Great” and waving the green flags of the Israel Islamic Movement. Attorney Zahi Nujeidat, spokesman for the group, said that the protesters came from across Israel to the embassy to “express our rage about this despicable movie that has harmed the honor of our prophet.”
By the way, it says in this article:
The protests began peacefully with several hundred people demonstrating on the plaza that holds both the Al-Aqsa and Dome of the Rock mosques, chanting, "With our blood and our soul, we will sacrifice for you our Prophet."How can it be "peaceful" if they said they're willing to self-sacrifice, to say nothing of trashing their own futures?
But clashes broke out between a part of the crowd and Israeli police as the demonstration moved out of the Old City, with security forces firing tear gas and stun grenades that injured at least five people, an AFP correspondent said. Several policemen were reportedly hurt.
In Gaza, thousands of people rallied at demonstrations in Gaza City and the southern town of Rafah, a day after the ruling Hamas party urged citizens to turn out for protests after Friday prayers.If there's no embassies in the Gaza strip, there's a reason for that.
Protesters waved the flags of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad movements, and set fire to American flags, chanting "Death, death to America, death, death to Israel."