Soldier stabbed in Jerusalem violence

Oct. 5, 2009 at 10:54 AM
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JERUSALEM, Oct. 5 (UPI) -- Tight security was in evidence Monday at the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City as thousands of Jews gathered to attend a priestly blessing.

An Israeli military police officer was stabbed in the throat in the afternoon as he boarded a bus that stopped at a security checkpoint north of Jerusalem. Israeli soldiers manning the position nabbed the assailant, said to be a 16-year-old Palestinian from Einata, reported.

In another incident, Israeli police patrolling the Temple Mount compound discovered wheelbarrows loaded with stones at a number of sites, apparently prepared by Muslim worshipers to throw at Israeli security forces or Jewish worshipers, Maariv reported.

More than 100 Arabs clashed with Israeli security forces Sunday near the Temple Mount, prompting Israeli police to impose restrictions in the area to prevent further violence for Monday's prayer, the Yedioth Aharonoth newspaper reported.

To restore calm during the Sukkot holiday, police permitted Muslim women of all ages and Muslim males more than 50 years of age to pray Monday at the Temple Mount.

Earlier Monday, Israeli security forces contained stone-throwing by Muslims in the Old City, Israel Radio reported.

Jordan summoned Israeli Ambassador Yaakov Rosen late Sunday to protest Israel's actions in response to the violence, the newspaper said. Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh said his country views Jerusalem as a "red line," and accused Israel of digging underneath the Temple Mount and allowing extremist Jewish settlers to dictate the tone, Maariv said.

Arab worshipers Sunday refused an Israeli request to leave the al-Aqsa mosque in the Temple Mount compound, Yedioth Aharonoth said. The Muslim worshipers were reportedly acting in response to a plea by leaders from the Islamic Movement who ordered them to remain in the compound because of an "attempted Jewish takeover," the newspaper said.

Despite the outcry, Haaretz said, the status quo in the plaza surrounding the al-Aqsa mosque has not changed since 2003, and Jews and tourists are permitted to visit the Temple Mount for a restricted period each day without coordinating with authorities.

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