A record 1,440 Jews visited the Temple Mount on Sunday to commemorate the Fast of Tisha B’Av.
The total was provided by the Yeraeh organisation, which facilitates Jewish visits to the Temple Mount. Last year nearly 1,300 visited the site. Some 400 visited in 2016 and 300 in 2015, the Jerusalem Post reported.
At least 15 visitors were arrested, most for bowing down or praying at the site, which is prohibited by police for fear of sparking Muslim riots.
“Today is a dark day in the history of Jerusalem and Palestine,” Palestinian Authority spokesman Yousif Mahmoud, said in a statement published by Wafa, the official PA news agency.
He said the Jewish visits to the Temple Mount were “a flagrant challenge to the Arab and Islamic nations and the violation of international law.”
Jordanian Minister of State for Media Affairs, Jumana Ghneimat, also condemned “the provocative incursions of extremists and settlers that took place today into the courtyards of the holy site,” the Palestinian Maan news agency reported, citing Jordan’s official Petra News Agency.
Ghneimat said the visits “violate the sanctity of this holy place, provoke sentiments of worshipers and Muslims all over the world, and constitute a violation of Israel’s obligations as an occupying power under international law and international humanitarian laws.
Ghneimat said the Jordanian embassy in Tel Aviv presented a diplomatic letter of complaint to the Israeli Foreign Ministry Sunday expressing the Kingdom’s strong condemnation of the visits and called for their immediate halt.
The Islamic Wakf based in Jordan oversees the holy site.
Temple Mount activist Yehudah Glick, a lawmaker from the Likud Party, visited the site early on Sunday morning. He recalled in a tweet in which he included photos of the crowds waiting to visit the Temple Mount that in previous years the site was closed to non-Muslim visitors on the solemn fast day that commemorates the destruction of the two Holy Temples in Jerusalem.
כאלף יהודים עלו הבוקר בקדושה ובטהרה להר הבית ,המקום בו התרחש החורבן, נערכים לבניין.
פגשתי עולים מכלל העולם צרפת גרמניה סין סרה-לנקה רומניה, יפן, ארהב, הרפובליקה הדומוניקנית ועוד.
זוכר עד לפני כמה שנים הר הבית היה סגור בתשעה באב למי שלא מוסלמי.
כשהמשטרה ערוכה אפשר
נחמו נחמו עמי pic.twitter.com/EqYYrQDaRw
— yehudah glick (@YehudahGlick) July 22, 2018
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.