Egypt’s Foreign Minister, Ahmed Maher, is visiting Israel. Today he paid a visit to the al-Aqsa Mosque on Temple Mount. He was assaulted by Palestinians who, among other things, pelted him with shoes. The Palestinians, at least some of whom were members of a group called the Islamic Liberation Party, denounced Maher as a “traitor,” apparently because of his and Egypt’s efforts to restart the stalled “peace process.” The photo below shows Maher as he was being rescued from the crowd by Israeli policemen and his own security staff. Maher either was knocked unconscious or fainted, it wasn’t clear which, and was taken to a hospital.
I visited the al-Aqsa Mosque some years ago. This was before the Intifada, and I didn’t think it was dangerous, but the atmosphere was extremely weird. After visiting the Mosque my wife and I walked across Temple Mount toward the Dome of the Rock; I casually put my arm around her and heard a shout from a nearby watch tower. A Palestinian was waving a submachine gun at me (at least, that’s what I thought it was–my knowledge of firearms is minimal) and yelling at me in Arabic not to touch my wife. We were considerably relieved to leave the area.
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