Temple ideas

PA, Jordan condemn Israel for Jewish visitors to Temple Mount on Jerusalem Day

The Old City is tense as Jews, Palestinians and cops engage in scuffles on Jerusalem Day

The atmosphere in the Old City is tense, with Jewish religious nationalists, young Palestinian men and the Israeli police getting into the occasional fight.

“I will take revenge for my two eyes against Palestine – damn them,” sing Jewish teenagers, altering a Bible verse sung by Samson about the Philistines.

Another advises his friends: “The next time you see Arabs running, stick your legs out and trip them up.

Palestinians run, some throw bottles at Jewish Israelis standing near the Chain Gate of the Temple Mount. Israeli teenagers give chase, with the police hot on their heels.

A young Palestinian jostles a policeman. Several push him away, occasionally hitting him with batons as he drags his feet away.

Other Palestinians scuffle with Israelis further down the winding alleys toward the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Plainclothes security guards dot the alleys. Many shops and stalls are closed and deserted.

“Every year they come here and provoke us. But this year it’s worse. It looks like a challenge,” says a Palestinian viewer, who declines to be identified.

Israeli marchers say they are the ones being attacked.

“They call us a provocation. But if I tell you that I am provoked by your breathing, how is that different,” says Ori, a Jerusalem resident in his 20s.

Ori says local Palestinians repeatedly provoked, insulted and assaulted the marchers. He denies the walkers are acting violently, but says if there are, “it’s an exception that doesn’t fit the rule”.