Israeli police arrested more than 350 Muslim rioters on Wednesday who had barricaded themselves inside Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
The rioters, who had smuggled fireworks, clubs and stones into the mosque, blocked the doors inside using iron rods, closets and other objects, police reported.
Overnight, they chanted incitement, threw stones and shot fireworks at police.
1/9 The Israel Police arrested and removed over 350 individuals that violently barricaded themselves in the Temple Mount, including masked individuals, stone and firework hurlers/throwers, and individuals suspected of desecrating the mosque pic.twitter.com/XT6sXHNBVt
— Israel Police (@israelpolice) April 5, 2023
Police attempted to convince the rioters to leave the site peaceably and when that failed were forced to enter the compound.
Following the removal of the rioters, Israeli forces left the area. The mosque was also cleaned, as the rioters had “vandalized, defiled and desecrated it,” police said. The Muslim Fajr prayer was held as planned with police striving to allow significant numbers of Muslim worshippers access to the site.
The Israel Police tweeted on Wednesday morning that terrorist groups continue “reckless incitement” on social media, “alongside false publications regarding the events in the area.”