- (Photo: Reuters/Ammar Awad)
Christian tourists have been stoned by a mob of Palestinian Muslims during a visit to Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
A mob of 50 Muslims reportedly attacked a group of Christian tourist's atop Jerusalem's Temple Mount, according to Israel Today Magazine. Israeli police intervened to protect the Christian group and three officers were wounded.
Many of the attackers were minors and 11 of them were caught and arrested.
Investigators believe the attack was sparked by the former Muslim mufti (scholar) of Jerusalem, Ekrama Sabri, who urged local Muslims to protect mosques from and Israeli conspiracy. Sabri recently told Palestinian media that Jewish groups were planning to break into mosques and desecrate their holy compound.
Muslim religious figures claim that Israel is plotting to destroy the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque to rebuild a new Jewish Temple. Muslims claim that a Jewish Temple never existed.
The al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock were constructed at Temple Mount after the Muslim conquest of Jerusalem, according to The Muslim Conquest of Syria.
Temple Mount is the most holy place on earth for Jews and many Christians, according to Israel Today. However, Israel must comply with strict Muslim demands for restrictions of non-Muslims who visit the site. Christians and Jews are forbidden from carrying Bibles at Temple Mount and even uttering silent prayers. Many Christians and Jews are arrested for not complying with the restrictions.
Temple Mount is one of the most contested religious sites in the world and is holy to Christians, Jews and Muslims. It is regarded as the place where God chose the Divine Presence to rest and where God created Adam. It is supposed to function as the center of all national life.
Sunni Muslims consider Temple Mount as the third holiest site in Islam. It symbolizes Muhammad's journey to Jerusalem and ascent to heaven. Both Jews and Muslims claim the sovereignty over the site.