16 arrested for incitement in Jerusalem during Friday prayers, Israeli police say From Lauren Izso

Israeli police says 16 people have been arrested on suspicion of “incitement and identification with terrorism and terrorists” in Jerusalem's Old City following Friday prayers.

The incident took place at the holy site known as the Temple Mount by Jews and as the Haram ash-Shairf complex by Muslims. It is home to the Western Wall and the al-Aqsa mosque, important places of worship for Jews and Muslims, respectively. The site has long been a flashpoint in tensions between Israelis and Palestinians.

Police said that after the conclusion of the evening and dawn prayers on Friday and Saturday “some individuals took advantage of this situation to engage in incitement and express support for terrorism.” 

“Following various investigation operations, suspects were located, including 16 who have already been arrested, and additional suspects who will be arrested," the statement read.

The police alleged “that among the incitement calls, which lasted for a relatively short period of time, there were also expressions of support for the Hamas terrorist organization and its leaders, calls to harm Jews, and encouragement for the Hezbollah terrorist organization to fire at Tel Aviv.”

While calls to support Hamas and hurt Jews are illegal in Israel, there has seemingly been less tolerance for criticism of the Israeli military since October 7. Dozens of Palestinian residents and citizens of Israel have been arrested in Israel for expressing solidarity with Gaza and its civilian population. 

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