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Current Page: World | Thursday, August 06, 2015
Christian Tourist Carrying Israeli Flag Attacked by Muslim Mob While Visiting Temple Mount in Jerusalem

Christian Tourist Carrying Israeli Flag Attacked by Muslim Mob While Visiting Temple Mount in Jerusalem

The dome of the rock located on the Temple Mount site in Jerusalem. | (Photo: REUTERS/Ammar Awad)

A Christian tourist visiting the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem was attacked by a Muslim mob on Tuesday and escorted away from the area by police.

A video released earlier this week shows the tourist being escorted away by Israeli officials while a group of Muslims, including children, are screaming out "Allahu Akbar."

The tourist, who was described by Israeli authorities as a French man, sustained some minor head injuries and could face charges of disrupting public order for waving an Israeli flag while visiting the holy site.

Israel has strict laws against overtly religious acts by Jews and Christians at the Temple Mount in order to keep the peace with Muslims in the area.

Police detained four men suspected of assaulting the tourist who were identified as residents of East Jerusalem, according to Times of Israel.

Tensions between Muslims, Jews and Christians at the Temple Mount have been rising steadily for the past few years as each religious group sees that area as holy ground.

In February of 2012, 18 Muslims were arrested in Jerusalem for throwing stones at tourists visiting the Temple Mount. The Jerusalem Police Department stated that the Muslim attackers heard rumors that Christian tourists had plans to destroy the Al-Aksa Mosque which occupies the area in order to reconstruct the Jewish Temple.

The mob of Muslims threw the stones at the Christian tourists and police officers accompanying them on a visit to the site. The tourists suffered some minor injuries.

Randall Price, a research professor from Liberty University, previously explained why Muslims are hostile toward Christians and Jews who perform religious acts on the site.

"The Muslims do not allow any sort of show of faith — you cannot pray, or take out a Bible (at the temple). Since 2000 they have restricted access to principle buildings there. They do not allow anyone other than Muslims to go into the structure — while previously it was allowed," said Price to The Christian Post in 2012.

He also believes the Bible prophesies that the Jewish Temple will be rebuilt on the site.

"If we look at the Jewish Scriptures, the last nine chapters of the book of Ezekiel say clearly that a temple will stand again in the future. They even give a description of the dimensions and give directions for rebuilding the Temple. It really cannot be spiritualized away — it is a literal temple that was destroyed, and the prophecy says it will be rebuilt," added Price.

Jewish and Christian conflict has also been an ongoing issue inside Old Jerusalem.

Back in June, a large crowd of Jewish protesters blocked a group of Greek Orthodox Christians from entering the site in Old Jerusalem that Jewish tradition believes is where King David is buried and where Christians believe Jesus held his Last Supper.

The protesters held a mass prayer service and study while blocking access to the building. Israeli police managed to secure the Christians access to the site where they held a religious ceremony to celebrate Pentecost, according to a spokesman for the department.

"The Christians called police to remove them and units arrived at the scene immediately to allow the representatives to go into the area," said police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld. "The group was peacefully dispersed and no arrests were made."

The Jewish students were there to "prevent the desecration of King David's tomb by an idolatrous ceremony of the Greek Church," according to protest organizer Yehudah Puah.

Contact: Vincent.funaro@christianpost.com; follow me on Twitter @vinfunaro

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