Ground Zero Outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

 RELIGIOUS JEWS visit the Temple Mount, in 2020. (photo credit: SLIMAN KHADER/FLASH90)

Jerusalem’s Temple Mount is Israel’s ground zero – opinion

It is time to assert our sovereignty over our holiest site, to send a clear message to the world that the Temple Mount will indeed be a place for free worship.


Published: SEPTEMBER 30, 2022 09:52

RELIGIOUS JEWS visit the Temple Mount, in 2020.

(photo credit: SLIMAN KHADER/FLASH90)

The expression “ground zero” connotes the place of essence, of origin, of fundamental significance. In Israel, Har Habayit, The Temple Mount, has come to be seen as that essential, irreplaceable, and defining place of the Jewish people and of the State of Israel.

This clarity of understanding, is, like many realities here, perceived more clearly by our citizenry than by our leadership. It is our citizens who increasingly understand and embody the wisdom that “he who controls Jerusalem controls Israel, and he who controls the Temple Mount controls Jerusalem.”

“He who controls Jerusalem controls Israel, and he who controls the Temple Mount controls Jerusalem.”

In this sense the Temple Mount represents an important geopolitical reality for Israel to recognize and to address. The all too predictable dog-whistle-like cries that “al-Aqsa Mosque is under attack” are a manipulative effort to prevent Israeli control over the mount.

Iraqis gather in Baghdad to mark anniversary of 2019 anti-government protest

So too is the posture of King Abdullah of Jordan, whose foreign policy approach is by and large to put a gun to his own head, threatening to pull the trigger if he doesn’t get his way. However, with the Temple Mount, he acts, and Israeli leadership react, as if Abdullah has compromising pictures of our leaders in his drawer, which he threatens to reveal if Israel gets too “proprietary” and overly “Judaizing” with the Temple Mount.

The result has been a long-term absurdity, where Israeli leaders tolerate a true desecration of Judaism’s holiest site, and the nauseating humiliation of Jewish visitors, all in the name of some mythical “status quo.”

The Temple Mount in Jerusalem. (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)The Temple Mount in Jerusalem. (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

The status quo is just Israel denying its own connection to the Temple Mount

The “status quo” is merely the self-abasing willingness of Israel to deny its connection to the Temple Mount, all in the ever important, but always elusive dream of keeping a lid on things.

Thankfully, in the past couple of years, the embarrassing situation is starting to change. Change has been driven by us, the citizens of Israel, in classic grassroots manner. Brave individuals, and committed organizations such as B’yadenu (“In our Hands,” a reference to General Motta Gur’s famous pronouncement after the Temple Mount was liberated during the Six Day War) have consistently challenged absurd, humiliating and completely arbitrary protocols that, whatever the thinking behind them was, only serve to enrage and inspire Jewish visitors to contemplate acts of civil disobedience.

The Temple Mount has become its own human rights issue, its own civil rights campaign. Here the strivers, the excluded, yes, the oppressed, are us, Jews, denied a natural and ennobling connection with our holiest site.

There are 10 entry points to the Temple Mount, but only one accessible for Jews. It happens to be on a ramp that has all the structural integrity of what collapsed on Mt. Meron. Hours are limited, days are restricted, and the slightest inclination of possible unrest results in Jews, never Muslims, from being barred.

WHILE MUSLIMS play soccer and desecrate antiquities, Jews have been prosecuted for reciting the Shema.

As I said, the winds of change are beginning to blow, and the only reason they are is because there have been consistent challenges to protocols that have been upheld in court.

Increasingly, prayer is being heard, both individually and even in minyans. Israeli flags have been known to appear, and even the “Hatikvah” has been sung. Most recently, intrepid members of B’yadenu, including our CEO and a Board Member, along with former MK Yehuda Glick, blew shofarot outside the Eastern wall of the Mount, prompting their knee-jerk detention, but ultimately – after legal intervention – their release.

Just as the Abraham Accords succeeded in bursting the bubble of received wisdom as to how peace could be advanced in the Middle East, so too, it is high time for Israel’s leaders to recognize that they must break out of the failed assumptions and approach that have characterized Israel’s control, or lack thereof, of the Temple Mount.

It is time to assert our sovereignty over our holiest site, to send a clear, unambiguous message to the world, friends and adversaries alike, that the Temple Mount will indeed be a place for free worship and association by respectful people of all faiths, including Jews.

At a time when Hamas chooses to project itself as the “Guardians of Jerusalem” and when segments of the Arab community see the opportunity to exploit Israeli reasonableness and compromise for the weakness that is ultimately perceived, it is absolutely critical that we assert ourselves on the Temple Mount.

Al-Aqsa has never been nor will ever be under attack, except if the mere presence of Jews on the Temple Mount is perceived as a threat in the ethnically cleansed mentality of some Muslim visitors. To that perception, we need to invoke timeless kindergarten wisdom: “well, we’re sorry you feel that way, but you are going to have to learn to share.”

I am very proud of the individuals and the organizations who, with great clarity, and even greater determination, have made the reclamation of the Temple Mount into a new Jewish imperative. The proof of that determination is the dramatic rise in Jewish ascendance to the Temple Mount. More than 50,000 Jews ascended this past year, a number greater than any time since the destruction of the Second Temple.

In this new year, may we redouble our efforts to extend our rights, presence and our connection with the Temple Mount. It is not a zero-sum game. Asserting our rights comes with no derogation to anyone else.

When King Solomon inaugurated the First Temple, he invited the nations of the world to come to pray there. We are similarly welcoming. It’s just that it is long overdue for the Temple Mount to be beckoning and welcoming to Jews.

Next year on the Temple Mount!

The writer is a director of B’yadenu. He is also the chairman of the board of Im Tirtzu and a director of the Israel Independence Fund. He can be reached at

4 Palestinians Die in IDF Raid Outside the Temple Walls: Rev 11

4 Palestinians Die in IDF Raid in Jenin, Prompting West Bank General Strike



Israel says gunfire erupted after troops surrounded location of two of the dead, who were wanted for spate of shooting attacks; Abbas spokesman says Israel is ‘tampering with security and stability’

There were no signs Wednesday that tensions were easing in the West Bank, as four Palestinians were killed in a raid by Israeli forces and dozens more were wounded.

The West Bank has seen a surge of violence in recent months as Israel has intensified raids following a wave of fatal Palestinian attacks. IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi said earlier this month that around “1,500 wanted persons” have been arrested and “hundreds of attacks” foiled since the end of March.

At least 90 Palestinians have been killed in nightly IDF raids in cities, towns, and villages across the West Bank, making this the deadliest year in the territory in six years; 19 Israelis were also killed in attacks between mid-March and the beginning of May, and an Israeli army officer was killed in an exchange of gunfire near Jenin in mid-September.

Gunfire erupted on Wednesday morning as Israeli troops surrounded the home of Ra’ad Hazem, who killed three people in a shooting spree in a Tel Aviv bar in April. His brother Rahman Hazem died Wednesday alongside fellow suspected gunman Muhammad al-Wana. Both were inside the house at the time.

Israel said the two were responsible for a spate of recent gun attacks and local media quoted Israeli officials as saying that the two had been preparing to carry out “more significant attacks” soon.

The Israel Defense Forces said that the two men had opened fire as troops moved to surround the location.

“While surrounding the residence in which both suspects were located, an explosive device detonated, and the suspects opened fire toward the security forces. The security forces fired back according to standard operating procedures and the two suspects were both killed,” the IDF said.

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said after the incident that Israel “will not hesitate or be deterred to act against anybody who tries to hurt Israeli citizens or our security forces,” Israeli media reported.

The other two Palestinians who were killed in the raid were named as Palestinian Authority security officer Ahmad Alawneh and presumed bystander Muhammad Abu Na’asa.

Palestinians across the West Bank held a general strike after the gunfight, shuttering services, shops, and schools in protest of the deaths. Fatah, the political movement of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, called for the strike as well as a “day of rage.”

Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeinah said after the clashes that Israel was “tampering with security and stability through pursuing a policy of escalation,” according to the official Palestinian news agency Wafa.

Hussein al-Sheikh, the secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Executive Committee, slammed the IDF raid as “a major crime committed by the occupation in the city of Jenin.”

“The government of Israel bears responsibility for these crimes and their repercussions,” al-Sheikh said, and urged the international community “to assume its responsibilities to protect the Palestinian people.”

The Islamist Hamas organization that governs the Gaza Strip said after the raid that it would not ignore the killing of Palestinians by Israeli troops.

“The cowardly assassinations of the martyrs in Jenin will not go unnoticed, and will not bring the enemy alleged security,” Hamas said.

Hamas warns against Zionist plans outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Hamas warns against Zionist plans to break into Al-Aqsa

Sep 27, 2022

Member of Hamas Political Bureau Maher Salah emphasized on Tuesday that the extremist Israeli settler groups’ plans to break into the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque require the Palestinian people and the Arab and Islamic nations to mobilize efforts and confront such dangerous schemes aimed at preserving the status quo and Judaizing the Al-Aqsa Mosque in preparation for the establishment of the alleged temple mount.

Salah added that we are facing a decisive moment in which the Israeli occupation discloses its plans against the Al-Aqsa Mosque without equivocation, which calls on everyone to shoulder responsibility towards the Muslims’ first Qibla and the third holiest site in Islam.

The Hamas official stressed that the Israeli occupation authorities are racing against time to fully use the political conditions to implement their extremist agenda against our sanctities.

He reiterated that for such Zionist extremist plans against the blessed Mosque to be repelled, Palestinians at the popular, factional, and political levels, as well as the Arab and Islamic nations and the world’s free peoples must assume responsibility to defend it against the increased attacks by Israeli occupation forces and settlers.

2 Terrorists killed outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Photo: Flash90

2 Terrorists killed in West Bank

September 26, 2022 — NEWS Tags: 2022 November Israeli Elections, al-Aqsa Mosque, Gaza, Har Bracha, IDF, IDF Border Police Special Operations, Israel, Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Israel News, Israel Now, Israel Security Agency (ISA or Shin Bet), Israeli Border Police Chief Amir Cohen, Israeli Government, Israeli Military Preparedness, Israeli Police, Israeli Police Commissioner Yaakov “Kobi” Shabtai, Israeli Politics, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, Israeli Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev, Israeli security, Israeli-Palestinian Clashes, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Jerusalem, Nablus, Operation Waves Breaker, Palestinian ‎Authority (PA), Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) Terror Group, Palestinian Lion Den Terror Faction, Palestinian Terror Attack, Palestinian Terrorism, Palestinians, Politics, Potential Israeli Strike on Iran Nuclear Facilities, Rosh Hashanah Jewish New Year, Said Al-Kawni, Two-State Solution, US President Joe Biden, West Bank

Tensions across the West Bank districts of Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley continue to run high – while tours by Jewish visitors on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount have sparked clashes.

By Jonathan Hessen and Erin Viner

IDF, Police and Border Police forces have deployed thousands of additional troops nationwide, and Jerusalem in particular. A closure was imposed on the West Band border crossings into the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip ahead of the Rosh HaShanah Jewish New Year set to last until midnight tomorrow.

The latest in a near-daily series of clashes between terrorists and Israeli security forces, a Palestinian accelerated his vehicle on Saturday with clear intent to ram into IDF forces, who immediately responded with live fire. The assailant succumbed to his wounds a short time later; no injuries were reported among the IDF troops.

In a separate incident, IDF Special Operation forces from the Golani Division acted on concrete intelligence of the impending attack, ambushing a Palestinian terror cell en route to shooting at Har Bracha. The Israeli civilian community was targeted by two attacks during the past week

“Soldiers spotted armed suspects driving in a vehicle and motorcycle adjacent to the city of Nablus,” said the IDF. “Troops responded by firing towards the armed suspects. Hits were identified.”

Palestinian sources identified the motorcyclist as Said Al-Kawni. He was a member of a new Palestinian umbrella group of different factions calling itself the “Lion Den,” and hailed as a “hero of resistance” who died during “clashes with occupation forces.”

According to reports, at least two of the terrorists in the vehicle were severely injured but managed to flee into the nearby city of Nablus.

Clashes erupted this morning in Jerusalem when Islamist youth, who had barricaded themselves in the Al-Aqsa Mosque overnight, hurled rocks and shot fireworks at a Jewish group on the Temple Mount during annual Rosh Hashana pilgrimage. Police forces arrested several instigators and managed to restore calm at the holy site, and there were no reported injuries.

The Israeli defense establishment has called on the Palestinian Authority (PA) to do more to rein in violence by gunmen associated with factions such as the Gaza-based Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and Islamist Hamas terrorist groups – which are well entrenched in cities like Jenin and Nablus. The PA, however, increasingly unpopular among many in the West Bank, claims its ability to exert its rule has been systematically undermined by Israel.

Most stores in Nablus were closed yesterday after Palestinian terror groups called for a general strike, while 30 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails began a hunger strike in protest at their conditions of detention.

Israel’s security establishment launched Operation Waves Breaker to root-out terror elements in the West Bank last spring to counter a deadly surge of attacks against Israelis that killed 19 people between March and May 2022. Since that time, IDFIsrael Security Agency (ISA, Shin Bet) and Border Police Special Operations forces have repeatedly come under attack during nightly raids while carrying out ongoing anti-terror activities throughout Judea and Samaria.

Meanwhile, accompanied by  Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev, Israeli Police Commissioner Yaakov “Kobi” Shabtai, Border Police Commander Amir Cohen and other senior officials, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid inspected the Border Police Menashe Brigade at the Shaked Base in the West Bank, during which he commended the Israeli troops for saving Israeli civilian lives.

“There are many people in the State of Israel who do not know that they are alive thanks to you. If you weren’t present, if your battalion didn’t exist, if this place wasn’t established, if your missions of reconnaissance or arrests were not undertaken, there would be many new graves throughout the state of Israel. They will never know. They will go about their lives, meet their families today, kiss their children, dip some apple in honey, and this whole time – they will not know that they are alive because of the group of people sitting here,” he said.

The Premier went on to laud operation activity by the Border Police and IDF forces as “Holy Work,” and urged the troops to proceed with caution while remaining vigilant for their own lives.

Last week, Prime Minister Lapid  called for the revival of long-dormant efforts to secure a Two-State Solution to the conflict, following the most recent appeal by United States President Joe Biden.

US-brokered peace talks aimed at establishing a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and eastern side of Jerusalem collapsed in 2014.

Threats from outside the Temple Walls don’t frighten us: Revelation 11

Threats from Israel’s Shin Bet don’t frighten us, Hamas leader says, mocking Israeli politics

September 25, 2022

Israel’s security establishment is increasing alertness on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

By World Israel News Staff

Ronen Bar, director of Israel’s Security Agency, the Shin Bet, sent a warning Saturday night to Yahya Sinwar, the Hamas leader in Gaza, saying he should watch his steps and decide whether he is truly interested in the rehabilitation of the Strip, Hebrew-language N12 news reported.

The following morning, on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, the Hamas spokesman responded that threats from the Shin Bet do not frighten anyone.

“This is a political impasse,” he said, referring to the Israeli political situation, with the fifth election in less than four years scheduled for November that still may not result in a decisive victory by any candidate.

“The threats made by Shin Bet chief Ronen Bar against the leader Yahya Sinwar are not new,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum declared. “They do not frighten our Palestinian people or the resistance leadership,” he said.

The Shin Bet’s warning “reflects a political, security and military deadlock from which the leaders of the ‘occupation’ suffer” as a result of the Palestinian “resistance.”

The Shin Bet recently identified a pattern of increasing direction by Hamas members regarding acts of terror carried out in the Palestinian Authority-administered territories of Judea and Samaria, N12 notes.

In the past year, there has been an alarming rise in the number of deadly attacks as well as increasing efforts by the terrorist organizations to initiate attacks. In response, the IDF launched Operation Wave Breaker, conducting counterterrorism raids in terrorist hotbeds in Judea and Samaria.

The operation is ongoing. On Saturday night, forces from the IDF, the Shin Bet and the Border Police arrested four wanted suspected terrorists throughout Judea and Samaria.

“Yahya Sinwar will have to choose between the rehabilitation of Gaza and the path of resistance. It is not possible to do both at the same time,” the counterterrorism agency stated, referring to requests for humanitarian aid for the Gaza population coupled with the direction of terror attacks in Judea and Samaria.

Meanwhile, Israel has increased the quota of workers coming to work in the country from the Gaza Strip by an additional 1,500, the IDF’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) announced Thursday.

Israel’s security establishment is increasing alertness on the eve of the Jewish New Year. The police are also monitoring the videos that may incite the situation.

Hamas Operatives in Gaza Continue to Direct Attacks Outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

(Photo by Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Hamas Operatives in Gaza Continue to Direct Attacks in the West Bank

By Joe Truzman | September 23, 2022 | | @JoeTruzman

The Israeli Security Agency (ISA) and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) stated on Friday that they arrested a terrorist cell in the West Bank operating under the guidance of Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The cell was responsible for an attack on Israeli vehicles near the village of Einabus on September 9.

The joint statement added weapons and ammunition that were used in the assault were recovered. Furthermore, the cell admitted to being linked to the shootings. 

Friday’s announcement follows an ISA statement made on Monday when it revealed a member of Hamas in Gaza tasked with recruiting militants abroad had directed seven Hamas operatives in the West Bank to carry out strikes. During the ISA’s investigation, it was discovered that the suspects were recruited by Hamas to launch shooting and bomb assaults. They were also supported financially to plan, train and carry out attacks, though the ISA did not reveal how the funds were transferred to the operatives. [See FDD’s Long War Journal: Arrest of Militants Signals Hamas’ Involvement in Uptick of West Bank Violence]

Adding to Hamas’ attempts to foment unrest, Hezbollah has provided the means for militant organizations to launch assaults against Israel Defense Forces (IDF) troops and Israeli civilians by smuggling arms into the West Bank. Initially, it wasn’t apparent if militant organizations were being supported from organizations abroad. Though, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Chief Hossein Salami recently stated the West Bank “could be armed” in the same manner as Gaza and the “process” was already underway. [See FDD’s Long War Journal: Hezbollah smuggling weapons to the West Bank amid surge in militant activity]

Much of the unrest in the West Bank can be blamed on the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) inability to effectively control the growing threat of militant organizations. In the West Bank, President Mahmoud Abbas’ approval rating is hovering around 30 percent, while about 70 percent wish to see him step down, according to a poll conducted by The Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research.

Iran, including its proxies, are aware of what is happening and are leveraging the PA’s position against it. Led by Palestinian Islamic Jihad, al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and other armed groups have frequently clashed with IDF troops and attacked Israeli settlements. Adding to the unrest is the increasing amount of PA security forces’ members launching strikes on IDF troops. [See FDD’s Long War Journal: Mounting Evidence of the PA’s Security Services Clashing With IDF Troops in the West Bank]

The growing evidence of Hamas’ efforts to direct attacks coupled with Hezbollah’s arming of militant organizations shows a concerted effort by Iran and its allies to create pockets of lawlessness in the West Bank. The actions undermine the PA’s rule and Israel’s efforts to curb the extensive violence sweeping the area. 

Joe Truzman is a contributor to FDD’s Long War Journal.

Hamas threatens violence outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Jews visit the Temple Mount, August 7, 2022. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

Hamas threatens violence over Jewish visits to Temple Mount during High Holidays

Ahead of Rosh Hashanah, top member of Gaza-ruling terror group warns of ‘open religious war,’ as Jewish group says it aims to double this year’s record number of visitors to site

By Agencies and TOI staff22 Sep 2022, 5:01 pm

The Hamas terror group on Thursday threatened violent “repercussions” over Jewish visits to Jerusalem’s super-sensitive Temple Mount, in a warning issued days before the start of the Jewish High Holidays when visitor numbers increase.

The holy site in the Old City of Jerusalem has long been the focus of tensions, but Palestinians have voiced increasing anger at the rising number of visits by Jews, who revere the compound as their holiest site.

Mahmoud al-Zahar, a senior member of the Gaza-ruling Hamas, warned, “The continuation of the Zionist aggression and their brutality against Jerusalem and the holy shrines will be the cause of a major battle.”

Speaking in a rare press conference in Gaza’s Omari mosque, al-Zahar alluded to Palestinian concerns that a longstanding convention by which Jews may visit but not pray in the compound was being covertly flouted.

Decrying what he called a “blatant attack on the religious and Islamic status of the city and the mosque,” al-Zahar said Israel bore full responsibility for “the possibility of dragging the entire region into an open religious war.”

He also said the Islamist terror group “defends the rights and sanctities of our people by all possible means.”

Beyadenu, a group that encourages Jews to visit the Temple Mount, said it was committed to increasing such visits.

“We broke the 50,000 visitor barrier on the Temple Mount” this past year, Beyadenu said ahead of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah.

Tom Nissani, the group’s chief executive said: “The goal is 100,000 visitors next (Jewish) year,” which begins on Sunday night.

Israeli far-right lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir tweeted Thursday that he “went up to the Temple Mount this morning to pray and exercise sovereignty in the holiest place for the people of Israel.”

Thousands of Jews — Israelis and tourists — are expected to visit Jerusalem’s Old City during the High Holiday period, which runs into mid-October.

Public Security Minister Omer Barlev told Kan public radio on Wednesday that Israeli authorities would not limit Jewish visits to the Temple Mount.

Israel captured the Old City, along with the rest of East Jerusalem, from Jordan in the Six Day War of 1967.

The Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism and is revered as the location of both ancient Jewish temples. The compound, which houses the Al-Aqsa Mosque, is Islam’s third holiest site and is managed by Jordan, as part of a delicate arrangement with Israel.

Hamas, which has ruled over the Gaza Strip since 2007, regularly describes itself as the primary force defending Al-Aqsa against Israel.

Palestinian suspect killed outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Palestinian suspect killed after stabbing in central Israel

JERUSALEM — A Palestinian man was shot and killed Thursday by an off-duty policeman after stabbing a pair of Israeli motorists at an intersection in central Israel, Israeli officials and media said.

The incident came at a time of heightened Israeli-Palestinian violence.

Israel has been conducting nightly military raids in the occupied West Bank following a series of deadly attacks inside Israel last spring.

Thursday’s incident occurred near the Israeli city of Modiin on a major highway that passes through the West Bank just a few kilometers (miles) away.

Israeli police and rescuers said the attacker approached a number of vehicles, spraying tear gas at people and trying to open car doors. The MADA rescue service said two people suffered light wounds to their hands, while five people were hurt by pepper spray and the off-duty policeman suffered mild injuries to his face.

There was no way to independently verify the account.

Lone Palestinians have carried out dozens of stabbing and car ramming attacks in recent years. But Palestinians and human rights groups say Israeli security forces often use excessive force.

Earlier Thursday, the Palestinian militant group Hamas threatened hostile actions against Israel over what it called “violations against Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque” ahead of the upcoming Jewish High Holidays.

Hamas’s threats came just ahead of Sunday’s Jewish new year, and a day after a group of Jewish religious extremists visited a contested holy site revered by both Jews and Muslims and blew the shofar — a ram’s horn that’s trumpeted in the run-up to and during the Jewish High Holidays.

The Jewish new year, Rosh Hashanah, begins at sundown on Sunday, and in the succeeding weeks thousands of Israelis are expected to visit Jerusalem.

Omer Barlev, Israel’s minister in charge of police, told Kan public radio on Wednesday that Israeli authorities would not limit Jewish visits to the contested Jerusalem holy site known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

Visitations and prayers by hard-line Jewish radicals at the site have triggered previous rounds of violence between Israel and the Palestinians.

For Jews, the site is the holiest on earth, the location of two ancient Temples. For Muslims, it is the home of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the third holiest place after Mecca and Medina. The shrine is the emotional epicenter of the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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Officially, under a loose set of rules known as the “status quo,” Jews are allowed to visit, but not pray at the site, which is managed by a Jordanian-run trust. But in recent years, the number of Jewish visitors to the site has steadily grown, and some hold Jewish prayer at the site under police protection.

Addressing reporters in the city of Gaza, Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar decried what he called a “blatant attack on the religious and Islamic status of the city and the mosque,” saying Israel bore full responsibility for “the possibility of dragging the entire region into an open religious war.”

He said the militant group, which rules the Gaza Strip, would “defend the rights and sanctities of our people by all possible means.”

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Israel and Hamas have fought four wars in the Gaza Strip since the Islamist militant group seized power in 2007.

The most recent battle, in May 2021, began when Hamas fired rockets at Jerusalem as Israeli nationalists planned to march through Jerusalem’s historic Old City, which is home to holy sites to Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Israel captured east Jerusalem, along with the Old City and its holy sites, in the 1967 Mideast war and later annexed it in a move unrecognized by most of the international community. The Palestinians seek it as capital of a future independent state.

Israel foils Hamas plot to launch series of bomb attacks outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11 2

 Members of the Al-Qassam Brigades take part in a military festival organized by Hamas to honor the dead Palestinians who were killed by the Israeli army in the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, in Gaza City, on October 4, 2021 (photo credit: ATIA MOHAMMED/FLASH90)

Israel foils Hamas plot to launch series of bomb attacks against Jews

Seven West Bank suspects recruited by Hamas to carry out attacks on Israelis were captured by the Shin Bet and the IDF.


Published: SEPTEMBER 19, 2022 15:43

Updated: SEPTEMBER 19, 2022 19:33

Members of the Al-Qassam Brigades take part in a military festival organized by Hamas to honor the dead Palestinians who were killed by the Israeli army in the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, in Gaza City, on October 4, 2021

Israeli security forces earlier this month arrested a group of Hamas-affiliated suspects in the West Bank who were planning bombing attacks against Israeli forces and civilians, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) announced on Monday.

Seven Palestinians from Hebron and Nablus were arrested and interrogated in the operation, led by the Shin Bet and the IDF.

From the suspects’ interrogations, the Shin Bet revealed they had been recruited to the Gaza-based terrorist organization by a Hamas operative named Yahya Amer Muhammad Abu

How seven West Bank Palestinians were recruited by Hamas

The 26-year-old Abu Sayfan, a resident of the Nuseirat refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, is responsible for the recruitment of Palestinian youths to the terrorist group and the dissemination of anti-Zionist and antisemitic incitement on social media.

Abu Sayfan instructed and guided the recruited suspects on how to make explosive devices, in addition to ordering them to carry out the attacks.

The suspects received money to purchase weaponry, explosives and other equipment and substances that were all confiscated by the Israeli security forces.

The suspects were named as Massab Himouni, Ahmad Abu Dawid, Aziz a-Din Al-Zin, Amad Abu Khalaf, Abdullah Quwasma and Maamoun and Khamel Hanani. Indictments for “severe security violations” were brought against most of the suspects, with more charges set to be filed in the coming days, the Shin Bet said.

The arrests highlight Hamas’s efforts to destabilize the West Bank and incite violence by recruiting Palestinian youths, the Shin Bet said, and that the Israeli security establishment will “continue to thwart attempts by Hamas to promote terrorist attacks against Israel.”

Israel has been facing an increased wave of terror in recent months. Due to the situation, and particularly shooting attacks against IDF troops and Israeli civilians in the West Bank, the IDF has decided to reduce the number of troops taking furlough in the Judea and Samaria Division.

According to data released by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), there were at least 23 shooting attacks in the West Bank and Jerusalem in August, an increase of more than 50% from the 15 that took place in July. In addition, there were 135 Molotov cocktail attacks compared to only 75 in July (an 80% increase) and 39 pipe bombs in August vs 27 in the previous month (44% more).

Israel busts Hamas cell in West Bank planning attacks outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Alleged members of a Hamas cell arrested by Israeli security forces in the West Bank in September 2022.
Shin BetAlleged members of a Hamas cell arrested by Israeli security forces in the West Bank in September 2022.

Israel busts Hamas cell in West Bank planning attacks

i24NEWSSeptember 19, 2022 at 08:12 AMlatest revision September 19, 2022 at 08:49 AM

‘These arrests reveal the continuous efforts of Hamas… to destabilize the West Bank’

Israeli forces dismantled an alleged terrorist cell planning to carry out bombings and shootings in the West Bank, and arrested seven of its members earlier this month, Israel’s Shin Bet domestic security service said Monday.

Those arrested were part of a cell connected to Gaza’s ruling faction Hamas, and took instructions from Yahya Amer Muhammad Abu Saifan, a Hamas member in the Gaza Strip who recruits Palestinians in the West Bank, according to the Shin Bet.

The Shin Bet said the seven members, who were all from the Nablus area and Hebron – respectively north and south of Jerusalem – practiced shooting and conducted tests with explosive devices. Several guns and explosive materials were seized following their arrests.

Abu Saifan provided the cell with instructions and funding to purchase materials to build bombs, the Shin Bet added.

The cell members – Masab Himouni, Ahmed Abu Daoud, Izz a-Din a-Zin, Imad Abu Khalaf, and Abdullah Quasma from Hebron, and Mamoun Hanani and Kamaal Hanani, from the Beit Furik village near Nablus – were all charged with serious security offenses.

“These arrests and investigations reveal, once again, the continuous efforts of Hamas operatives from the Gaza Strip and abroad, whose goal is to destabilize the [West Bank] and raise the level of violence on the ground, while recruiting terrorist operatives in the [West Bank] in order to advance attacks,” the Shin Bet said in a statement.

The arrests came as Israeli security forces are on high alert amid a resurgence of tensions in the West Bank.