Record Number of Jews Visit Temple Mount on Tisha B’Av

Stand for Israel  |  August 12, 2019

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men use candles to read from the book of Eicha (Book of Lamentations) during the annual Tisha B'Av (Ninth of Av) fasting and memorial day, commemorating the destruction of ancient Jerusalem temples, in the Ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Mea Shearim in Jerusalem, on August 10, 2019. - Commemorated under the Hebrew calendar as the Ninth of Av, worshippers will gather all night long at the Wailing Wall, the last remaining vestige of the Second Temple, in Jerusalem Old City. (Photo by Gil COHEN-MAGEN / AFP) (Photo credit should read GIL COHEN-MAGEN/AFP/Getty Images)

As the Jewish people prepared to observe Tisha B’Av, the saddest day on the Jewish calendar, Muslim leaders looked to keep them from doing so on the Temple Mount. But despite rioting and planned obstruction, Israel Hayom’s Malkah Fleisher reports that 1,700 Jews were able to observe the day of mourning at the holy site:

Riots erupted on the Temple Mount on Sunday, as Muslims celebrating Eid al-Adha attempted to prevent Jews from entering. Police ultimately pushed back against the protesters to allow a record-breaking number of Jews to visit the site.

Hundreds of Jews lined up to visit the Temple Mount on the morning of Tisha B’Av, the day on which Jews mourn the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem, as well as a series of calamities which befell the Jewish people throughout history on the same date.

However, local Islamic authorities on Friday had urged Muslims to converge on the site on Sunday in the hope of preventing Jews from praying there…

Indeed, on Sunday morning some of the 80,000 Muslim worshippers confronted police on the Temple Mount, causing them to close the site to Jews, citing security concerns…

Police responded to the violence by utilizing riot-control measures to end the protests. Reports indicate that the head of the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf was injured during the incident, as well as an estimated 14 Muslim worshippers and four police officers.

At 10:30 a.m., police authorized Jews to enter the Temple Mount in small groups. The worshippers were under close police escort and limited to a very small area, but some reported that police appeared to be more accommodating than usual, allowing them to pray openly and performing security checks less stringently.

Despite the limited Jewish access, Arabs at the site began chanting “Allahu akbar!” (God is the greatest) and throwing chairs and other objects at them for an hour, during which police held the site open to Jews. A video Sunday showed Waqf director Azzam al-Khatib and Jerusalem Mufti Muhammad Hussein encouraging the angry crowd, telling them: “In spirit and blood, we will redeem you!”

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