Some 30 Arabs were arrested over Rosh Hashana weekend, following several riots that broke out in and around the Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem. No injuries were reported among the Israeli troops.
Last Tuesday, the Jerusalem Police issued a statement detailing security arrangements for visits to the Temple Mount by Jewish worshippers over Rosh Hashana. The statement met a call by Islamic Movement head Sheikh Raed Salah, who urged his followers to thwart any such visits.
Salah was detained by security forces on Tuesday afternoon, and the police later obtained an injunction barring him from Jerusalem for several weeks.
Riots on the Temple Mount began Wednesday morning. The police, who had previous intelligence that this would occur, deployed additional forces along the compound. The riots escalated around noon, when dozens of Arab youths began stoning security forces stationed in the compound.
Soon afterward, Jerusalem District Police Commander Yossi Pariente ordered his troops to storm the Temple Mount compound and disperse the riot. Fifteen Arabs, most of whom minors, were arrested.
The riots resumed on noon Friday, following the end of the weekly prayer service held in Al-Aqsa Mosque, which coincided with the noon prayer service in the Western Wall Plaza. Dozens of Arab youths began stoning security forces stationed in the area, and clashes ensued near Mughrabi Gate.
Security forces had no choice but to storm the compound once more to disperse the riot, arresting 15 Arab youths.
In both clashes, the Arab youths were detained for disturbing public order and assault on police officers.
The Jerusalem Police said security forces in the capital would remain in high alert throughout the High Holidays.
Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich condemned the weekend's riots, saying the Arab youths had aimed "to hurt the Jews who came to pray at the Western Wall on Rosh Hashana. All violence should be condemned, but all the more so when it comes to the holiest place of the Jewish people."
"The world should condemn this act and express contempt for this attempt to hurt worshippers on a holy day," Rabinovich said. "Security forces have to arrest the rioters and those who incite them to violence, and make them answer for the actions in court."