WASHINGTON – The US State Department on Monday voiced concern about violence at the Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem in light of recent tensions over the Jewish New Year between Palestinians and Israelis.
“The United States is deeply concerned by the increase in violence and escalating tensions surrounding the (al-)Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said, referring to the contested holy site.
“We strongly condemn all acts of violence. It is absolutely critical that all sides exercise restraint, refrain from provocative actions and rhetoric and preserve unchanged the historic status quo on the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount.”
Earlier on Monday, clashes occurred at the site for a second day in a row. An Israeli police officer on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount was injured by two stone-throwing youth as police prepared the site for Jewish visitors for the Jewish New Year.
Police arrested three Palestinian who had thrown rocks and iron bars at officers following the disturbances, quiet was restored to the premises and Jewish visitors and tourists began to enter the site. Police said that around 500 people visited on Monday morning.