Jews fought Jews in extraordinary scenes outside the famous and historical Temple of the Mount in Jerusalem on Thursday (August 5).
CU Sign forbidding Jews entrance to Temple area, Jerusalem, PAN TO Jewish demonstrators and police milling around outside Temple entrance (2 shots)
SV Man carrying banner protesting at ban
GV Police skirmishes with members of crowd (5 shots)
GV Crowd at Temple entrance
SV Scuffles between police and protesters outside entrance (5 shots)
SV and CUs protesters chanting outside entrance (5 shots)
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Background: Jews fought Jews in extraordinary scenes outside the famous and historical Temple of the Mount in Jerusalem on Thursday (August 5).
SYNOPSIS: The Temple, from which Jesus Christ is said to have thrown out the money-lenders, is part of the so-called 'Wailing Wall' -- also a religious shrine to Jews from all over the world.
But the Israeli government has reserved the area for the exclusive use of Muslim worship, as demanded by both Muslim dictate and Jewish historical law, which traditionally forbids Jews from setting foot on the site of the Temple. On Thursday, militant Jewish nationalists tried to fight their way to the Temple to celebrate the anniversary 1,906 years ago of its razing to the ground by Roman soldiers. But the way was blocked by traditional Jews, who objected to them setting foot on the site of a forbidden place. Israeli police on the scene intervened. Scuffles and skirmishes broke out in a three-way fight between the two opposing jewish factions and Israeli police.
The police acted in accordance with Israeli government policy, which reserves the Temple for Muslims who built shrines over its ruins. The Western Wall of the Temple, the so-called 'Wailing Wall', was put aside for Jewish worship. In Thursday's incident, Jewish traditionalist objected to a service held by Israeli nationalists on the Temple steps. The nationalist squatted on the ramp outside the Temple and read from the Book of Lamentations in the prescribed manner.
The fights broke out because the traditionalists objected to the service because of the sanctity of the site. The bearded zealots assaulted the nationalists, tearing a banner from their hands and warning they would be guilty of blasphemy if they crossed the Temple threshold. Later some 20 nationalists tried to race into the entrance but they were stopped by police who had been reinforced in anticipation of the troubles.