Mayor Barkat pledges to keep the Temple Mount accessible to worshipers, while fending off the terrorists.
Jerusalem’s Mayor Nir Barkat visited the Temple Mount compound on Wednesday morning, following a second consecutive night of Palestinian riots in the capital and ahead of threats of escalation in violence by Palestinians.
The Palestinian rioters are protesting Israel’s new security measures introduced at the holy site in the wake of Friday’s terrorist attack, which left two Israeli policemen dead.
Israel’s security forces are on high alert following a call by Palestinian Authority (PA) head Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party for a “day of rage” in Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria on Wednesday to protest Israel’s presence on the Temple Mount.
Fatah added that Friday prayers would be conducted in public squares in Palestinian cities to denounce Israeli “terrorist procedures” in Jerusalem.
Barkat vowed that he would not allow the Temple Mount to serve as a base for terrorists.
“The Temple Mount is a holy site and is meant for prayer, and for this purpose we will safeguard the rights of the worshipers and visitors on the [Tempe] Mount,” Barkat wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday.
“However, we will not enable anyone to use the mosque [on the Temple Mount] for the purposes of terrorism, as did the terrorists” he vowed, referring to the three Arab terrorists who murdered two Israeli policemen at the holy site on Friday.
He voiced support for the new Israeli security measures introduced at the site, saying it is a “correct and necessary decision that will prevent the possibility of further terror attacks at the site.”
He called on Muslim leaders “from around the globe to internalize that the Temple Mount will not serve as a place of refuge or a base for terrorists and murderers to organize.”
Addressing the Palestinian rioters, he suggested that they “focus their rage on the terrorists who created this necessity, and not the police.”
Two Israeli police officers were lightly injured in the violence, while Palestinians sources claim that dozens of rioters were injured as well.