Jerusalem on Alert Amidst Temple Mount Crisis

Netanyahu Warns Hamas 'Don't Test Us'

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Posted on: 
11 mar 2019 (Gehele dag)
Jerusalem on Alert Amidst Temple Mount Crisis
Following several days of tensions surrounding the Golden Gate on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, Jordanian King Abdullah II left Amman was in Washington on Saturday for meetings with members of the US Congress in order to enlist their support for his demands that Israel allow the Wafk Islamic trust which administers the site to open a building near the Gate which Israeli authorities have closed since 2003. Israel arrested a senior member of the Wafk leadership in response to the unilateral move and tensions have flared in and around the Old City, leading to a heightened security situation in the Israeli capital.

Talks between Israeli and Jordanian officials on Thursday failed to resolve the dispute, with the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court also getting involved by issuing a ruling allowing security services to re-close the building. Palestinian officials issued a call for their followers to show up en masse at the Temple Mount for Friday’s prayers to protest the situation and several thousand did so, leading to tense confrontations with police. However, there was little violence reported and tourists visiting the site passed crowds of protesters as the massive police presence managed to keep unrest to a minimum.

Meanwhile, there were also demonstrations Friday along the border between Israel and the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took time during his weekly cabinet meeting Sunday morning to address the issue, warning Hamas by saying “Do not test us. We will do everything we need to bring about quiet. Over the last few days we have seen violence by rogue groups from the Gaza Strip, but it does not absolve Hamas [of responsibility]. We respond by attacking Hamas targets.”

In related news, the Palestinian Authority announced this week that it is cutting the paycheques of its tens of thousands of employees in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in response to massive budget shortfalls which have been exacerbated by the PA’s refusal to accept tax revenues collected by Israel on PA-sourced commerce because Israel was deducting monies from those receipts equal to the amounts the PA was paying to the families of terrorists killed or imprisoned in the act of carrying out attacks against Israelis.