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Violence on the Temple Mount After Protester Hurls Firebomb at Police

03-12-2019
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JERUSALEM, Israel - Jerusalem’s Temple Mount erupted in violence Tuesday afternoon after a firebomb was thrown at a police post on the holy site.

"A short while ago, on the Temple Mount, a Molotov cocktail was thrown at the location's police post," Jerusalem police said in a statement.

Authorities closed the holy site in response to the violent attack and at least three people were arrested and are being questioned.

"Jerusalem Police Commissioner Doron Yadid visited the Temple Mount and held a situational assessment there. He ordered it evacuated and closed in order to conduct searches for other weapons," police said.

According to the Times of Israel, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas condemned "the dangerous Israeli escalation in the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque" and called on the international community to step in.

The attack comes amid increased tension on the Temple Mount.

Muslim worshippers have protested the closure of an area on the compound near the Gate of Mercy. The area was closed in 2003 after allegations that the group overseeing the site was linked to terror activity.

Last month, the Islamic Waqf, the body controlling the Temple Mount, reopened the site to Muslim worshipers, despite Israel's desire to keep it closed.

Worshippers on the mount have responded to the closure by staging protests and clashing with police.

Haartez reports that Israeli officials have met with Jordan in recent weeks to figure out how to calm tensions and avoid an escalation.

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