The incident occurred when a group of Jews came to the Temple Mount as part of an organized visit. The group drew the attention of the Muslims praying at the site who began chanting “Allahu akbar” (“God is great”) at the visitors. A group of Muslims later attempted to approach the group but were distanced by police.
Organized visits to the Temple Mount continued after the incident, but in the afternoon police were notified of a plan by a Muslim group to accost the next group of Jewish visitors and to throw rocks at them. Following the notification, police conducted searches throughout the Temple Mount, putting visits on hold in the meanwhile.
While conducting their search, police came under a barrage of rocks thrown at them by angry Muslims, leading Jerusalem Police District Commander Maj. Gen. Yossi Pariente to order the site closed to Jewish visitors. During the altercation, five Muslims were arrested as well as four Jews, who according to police scuffled with officers trying to enter the Temple Mount.
The Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City is holy both to Jews and Muslims. The site is managed by the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, with Israeli police in charge of its security. According to Israeli rules set for the site, Jews are permitted to visit but not pray there.