Skip to comments.Canadian tourists caught in confrontation over holy site
Posted on 02/10/2007 3:30:29 PM PST by xcamel
A Canadian tour bus was attacked Saturday as sightseers in East Jerusalem became the target of protests over a disputed holy site.
Palestinian youths hurled stones at the vehicle carrying vacationers during the second day of protests against excavation work at the religious compound.
This bus came under attack on the second day of Palestinian protests against excavation at a religious site. (CBC)
Muslims know the site as the Noble Sanctuary, which houses the al-Aqsa mosque, the holiest mosque outside Mecca. It's known to Jews as the Temple Mount, which is connected to the Western Wall, described as the holiest site in Judaism.
A walkway to the compound was damaged during a snowstorm three years ago, so the Israeli Antiquities Authority is replacing it.
The Canadians were on a tour of the Mount of Olives holy site when they were caught in the middle of the continued violence.
Palestinians blocked roads with burning garbage bins and hurled bottles and other objects at the travellers' bus, witnesses said.
"We were just driving and all of a sudden a bunch of kids started picking up rocks and whatever they could get their hands on and started throwing it at the bus," said tourist Dave Wood. "This is our first day in the Holy City and it was quite disturbing to say the least."
The stone-throwing came a day after police stormed the disputed compound in the Old City, using tear gas and stun grenades to disperse Muslims, who rioted after Friday prayers.
Protests against the construction have spread to Egypt, Lebanon and the cities of Nazareth and Bethlehem, where demonstrators have accused Israel of plotting to harm Islamic shrines.
A police station in East Jerusalem was also pelted with stones on Saturday, said Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby. No one was injured in either incident, he said.
Seventeen protesters and 19 police officers were hurt in Friday's violence.
Some Muslim leaders say the work, which began on Tuesday, is part of a plot to harm the holy site. Israeli officials are blaming unfounded propaganda for sparking the protests.
Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter told Israel Radio on Saturday that Israel would disprove rumours that the mosque is threatened by the construction work.
Those wacky yutes. They blow up so quickly.
Sounds like a good episode for "Little Mosque on the Prairie."
This would be funny if it wasn't so deadly serious.
Coming to an American city near you.
This is why they dont put rocks in the monkey cage at the zoo. Which is where the slaves of moo belong too.
Take the whole al-aksa apart, marking each stone as to where it came from, and reassemble in saudi arabia. Everyone would be better off.