There is perhaps no place in the Holy Land more contentious than the Temple Mount, and developments this week only further that. Israel Hayom reports that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered the removal of Muslim equipment from the holy site, which Islamic officials warn "will be met with strong resistance":
Tensions continued to bubble Monday on the Temple Mount after the Gate of Mercy structure near Al-Aqsa mosque was certified as another mosque, with silent agreement from Israel – despite official denials issued by Israeli authorities.
Government officials said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued an order to remove equipment from the site and disallow prayer there.
The structure was recently fitted with rugs and other furnishings along with renovations. Eran Tzidkiyahu of the Forum for Regional Thinking visited the site on Monday and assessed that it would soon be used as a permanent prayer area for Muslims.
Meanwhile, the Islamic authority that oversees Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, known as the waqf, announced it has already appointed an imam for the Gate of Mercy structure and that its status would be identical to other sites of worship on the Temple Mount.
Israeli police on Sunday arrested the head of waqf authority, Sheikh Abdelazeem Salhab, and other waqf leaders, following violent protests last week on the Temple Mount...